British Archaeological Bibliography and the future

Hugh Jarvis (C129QP43@UBVM.BITNET)
Thu, 29 Sep 1994 18:55:38 EDT

This message has been cross-posted to Arch-L, Arch-theory, Histarch and AIA-L
and to the sci.archaeology newsgroup, and now also anthro-l...
I have sent similar messages to some museum and library lists.


***** British Archaeological Bibliography and the future *****

How will archaeologists keep up to date in five or ten years'
time? How will they find what was published in 1950 about a site
they need to reconsider? What is the right balance between print
and electronic forms for distributing and storing bibliographic
information? How should archaeological information services be
provided and paid for?

The Council for British Archaeology has received a research grant
from the British Library to look into questions such as these.
Although the British Archaeological Bibliography is the prime
focus of the study, the results will be of value for many small
indexing and abstracting services facing the opportunities which
computerisation offers.

The British Archaeological Bibliography currently appears twice-
yearly, and contains almost 2000 abstracts each year of recent
books, articles, reports and other publications, aiming for
comprehensive coverage of the archaeology of the United Kingdom
and Ireland. It has a detailed annual subject index and many
useful appendices.

Most of its data is now in machine-readable form, so that in
future it could not only continue in its present format, but it
could also be made available electronically, on magnetic discs, on
CD-ROM, or as a database accessible online by a dial-up
connection or over Internet. The electronic form could be
distributed to subscribers, or a central search service could be
provided. Records could be provided in a form which could be
integrated with local data. These possibilities will be looked
into, but the final outcome will be largely influenced by what
the users want.

What would be most useful to you and your colleagues? If you have
views on what you need now is the time to have them taken into

I am undertaking this research project for the CBA between now and
December, and I welcome any ideas, suggestions or opinions. Replies
can be sent to this list if you think they will be of general interest
and suitable for discussion, or privately to me at the address below,
by email, fax or on paper.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Leonard Will

Dr Leonard D Will Tel: +44 81 366 7386
Information Management Consultant Fax: +44 81 366 0916
27 Calshot Way, ENFIELD, Middlesex Email:
EN2 7BQ, United Kingdom