Learners, educators and citizen scientists will benefit from an 18 month digitisation programme launching today which will bring back to life scientific medical archives, historical records and health reports.
Jisc will be investing £5.6 million in 23 projects across 30 universities and cultural heritage organisations to bring selected archives out of the vaults and onto computer screens, specifically with the aim of creating resources for wide educational use. These archives will be publicly accessible too which means citizens scientists, school pupils and the general public will benefit as well as historians, medics and biologists in this growing UK collection of digital resources for research, teaching and learning.
Alastair Dunning Jisc’s programme manager explains why this work is taking place and the reasons for continuing to unearth national archives to make them accessible for everyone.
“Jisc believes that publicly-funded archives and collections should whenever possible be made openly available for people to be able to see, reuse and access.
These new collections vary greatly. King’s College London are leading a project to digitise the entire 86 volume corpus of the Survey of English Place-Name, while the University of Bradford are running ‘Digitised Diseases’ which seeks to bridge the gap between modern clinical medicine and the use of historic medical collections by digitising pathological skeletal specimens from world renowned archaeological collections in Bradford and London. The new collections to be digitised also include over 150 years worth of annual reports summarising the health of Greater London’s population, held by the Wellcome Library.”
This programme of work supports the findings of the Seizing the opportunity for online learning for UK higher education report which recommended, the use of online learning to enhance student choice and meet learners’ expectations; realignment of training and development to support academics to play a leading role in online provision; and the development and sharing of open educational resources to enhance efficiency and quality.