Navigational Aids for the History of Science, Technology and the Environment (NAHSTE)


Main Achievements


Each of the project archivists had collections assigned to them. Preliminary research was undertaken concerning the appropriate level of ISAD(G)2 descriptions: collection, series or item. These were captured directly into XML using the projectís EAD and data format specifications, and the customised XMetaL data entry tool mentioned above. Four access points were specified and these were created using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), and National Council of Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names (NCA Rules). These were tracked using Access databases. International Standard Archival Authority Records (ISAARs), were created in addition to personal name access points in collection level descriptions. These utilise the XML DTD developed on the project and provide more detailed biographical histories of individual scientists.

Throughout the project, exemplars of original documents being catalogued were selected for digital imaging and included both illustrations and text in line with the advice of the Academic User Group. To emphasise some of the projectís jmain themes such as links between the partner institutions, one of the AUG members, Dr. John Henry, contributed an on-line essay entitled ďA Short History of Scientific and Technical Education in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Heriot-Watt UniversitiesĒ. Short summaries of related data held by the associate partners consituted another useful data component and were compiled towards the end of the project.

A detailed specification of the projectís IT Delivery requirements was completed by the end of the first year in conjunction with Glasgow Universityís GASHE project. EDINA (Edinburgh Data and Information Access), a JISC funded national data centre based at Edinburgh University Data Library within the Universityís computing service, agreed to carry out the work required. Main design motivations included speed of web access and simplicity of mangement, and the project team worked closely with Mr. Gavin Inglis of EDINA on various prototypes and end user interfaces to produce the final version. The web-based facilities developed vis NAHSTE are now being used in other similar projects at Edinburgh.

Main Achievements

Main Deliverables

Collection/Series/Item level descriptions (approximately 4400) plus associated ISAAR records and (up to) 100 digitised exemplar images of documents.

Web-based search tools permitting cross-institutional searching/browsing among partnersí holdings by name, subject, place, date etc. plus linkages to additional on-line aids.

Conservation of approximately 700 linear metres original material.

Contributions to the development of electronic access methodologies, archival descriptive standards, and web-based delivery mechanisms.


Project Manager

Arnott T Wilson
University Archivist
Special Collections Division
Edinburgh University Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ

Tel: 0131 650 6865
Fax: 0131 650 6863

Project website

Content: Gill Davenport
Last updated 2 July 2002