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Parks & Gardens UK project New vistas for historic designed landscape records. Rachael Sturgeon Project Manager, PGDS Janet E. Davis Web Manager, PGDS
Project aims • Encouraging volunteers to research & record • Collating information from other sources Creating • database • web site • educational resources
Specific project aims • 6, 000 records of sites in England & Wales • 1, 000 records of sites in Scotland & Northern Ireland • References records • Archives sources • Associated Person records • Associated Organisation records • Digital images & digital image records • 20 themed educational resources
Who is involved? • Parks & Gardens Data Services – not-for-profit company set up by: and • Supported by • Volunteers • IT contractor • hosting service
Who is involved? Stakeholders Advisory Panel Experts include representatives from: English Heritage RCAMHW Hampshire County Council Consultative Group Volunteers organisations - NADFAS, County Gardens Trusts, NCCPG Universities Culture 24
Who is it for? Experts Non-experts General public Volunteers Tourists Site owners/managers Archaeologists Historians Heritage professionals Planning professionals Design professionals UK schoolchildren HE & FE students Life-long Learners
Accessibility issues - physical and technological Front end of web site Need to allow for: • people with disabilities, especially with visual impairments, including colour blindness; • slow dial-up internet access • older hardware and software
Intellectual accessibility - navigation Building a semantic bridge using navigation Providing methods to access the database records that do not require: • prior knowledge of historic parks & gardens; • knowledge of UK geography or local authority areas; • good spelling or high level of literacy.
Intellectual accessibility - images Building a semantic bridge using description • People ‘read’ pictures according to what they know. • Need to describe what is where. • What is obvious to one expert will not be obvious to another from a different discipline. • Accessibility for visually-impaired.
Intellectual accessibility - writing style Building a semantic bridge using writing style • Using plain English or providing explanations of specialist terms • Abbreviations and acronyms written in full. • ‘Friendly’ but objective style. • Concise, short sentences.
Controlled vocabulary Example of early controlled vocabulary list for terms to describe the context or principal building for historic parks and gardens.
The Thesaurus within the database
Data entry form - Context
Illustrated Glossary - Front End
Back end content editor • Designed to be used by staff with no or little HTML knowledge. • Incorporates easy entry of basic metadata.
Front end content editor • Next stage - letting volunteers add their own articles from the front end.
Conclusion Accessibility Sustainability Delivery of content www. parksandgardens. ac. uk