Had a meeting in Aberystwyth yesterday with some archivists who work for higher education institutions in Wales. Some are interested in using the Spokes software to host their multi-level finding aids. It soon became clear that the attitude of their respective IT departments had a lot of influence on the likelihood of their adopting the software. One institution faced a long wait before the software could be installed, while another’s IT section was willing to set a machine up almost immediately, happy to give their team more practice with setting up a Linux server.
Much of the discussion revolved around the problem of obtaining funding for creating those multi-level descriptions. It is widely felt that getting money for cataloguing projects is increasingly difficult, despite the widespread need for the backlogs to be tackled. Catalog Cymru is a project that has recently started in Wales to assess the significance and extent of uncatalogued materials held in 22 repositories in the country.
Another point of discussion was whether the Archives Network Wales would be able to host full finding aids in the future, as this is a purely collection-level service at present. Again, the answer will depend on the availability of future funding.
I think that the title to this entry reads ‘Hub and Spokes’ in Welsh, but please let me know if that’s wrong!