Catalogue description Countryside Agency: Local Heritage Initiative Projects Database

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Details of CA 1
Reference: CA 1
Title: Countryside Agency: Local Heritage Initiative Projects Database

This dataset series contains details of the various projects supported by the Local Heritage Initiative (LHI). The records provide information regarding local heritage projects giving descriptions of the projects, photographs of work undertaken and details of the groups involved in the work.

The LHI website contained details of approximately 1,400 projects that had been funded through the Local Heritage Initiative grant programme. Central to the website was the project directory. This was a searchable online database containing details of all of the LHI funded projects. It was also a multimedia resource containing oral histories and other content, in the form of videos, images, graphics and text.

Alongside the main funding for the LHI programme, a separate application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for funding to develop a website to enable the project groups to showcase their work. In September 1999, HLF awarded a grant of £1.25 million to develop, staff and maintain the ICT and website project for a ten-year period. From the outset, the intention had been to build a website supported by a content management system (CMS) to allow project groups to update their own pages. The ICT and website aspect of LHI was managed by a Project Board and Advisory Panel. In 2001 a contract to support and maintain the ICT platform and content management system was awarded to Torchbox Ltd. The newly designed and developed LHI website was launched in December 2002.

Most of the content was produced by the LHI project groups and was held in the project directory, this was intended to be a searchable online database holding details of all the projects that were funded by the grant programme. The content in the project directory included oral histories, videos and interactive tours as well as images, graphics and text. The project directory was managed by the LHI web team with technical assistance from the contractor, Torchbox. One of the web team's roles was to supply advice and support to the project groups in order to assist them to upload their content to the website. The amount of content on each project varied considerably. All project groups were allocated their own homepage on the LHI website. As a minimum this contained a short description of the project, its location, amount of grant awarded, and contact details. This forms the basis of the dataset.

The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.

Date: 2000-2006

The original Hardware and Operating System are not known.

Application Software: The LHI project directory data and associated multimedia items were a web-based application managed using a content management system called RationalMedia, supplied by CA's IT contractor Torchbox Ltd.

User Interface: LHI used the RationalMedia Content Management System (CMS) developed by Torchbox Ltd. The CMS enabled the LHI web team to update the web site, upload images and multimedia content, and send out newsletters by email. The content management system also supported the individual editing of project directory pages by members of individual project groups.

Logical structure and schema: The LHI dataset held by TNA contains six tables. Three of these (Project, Grants and ProjectCategory) contain data derived from a CSV file containing details of approximately 1400 LHI projects supplied by CA. Two tables (Projectoutputs and Photographs) are derived from a related Microsoft Access database created by CA as part of the process of managing the LHI project outputs. The sixth table (All object files) was created by UKNDAD to hold links to the project documents, images, audio and video files that were transferred alongside the project directory data. This table is linked to the Project, Grants and ProjectCategory tables via the field 'Project Reference'.

Separated material:

Additional project output material was deposited by the Countryside Agency with the University of Gloucestershire Archives forming the Local Heritage Initiative archive.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in The National Archives: CRDA/67
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Countryside Agency, 1999-2006

Physical description: 2 datasets and documentation
Restrictions on use: The Local Heritage Initiative Projects dataset and related dataset documentation are copyright of the Countryside Agency, Heritage Lottery Fund and Nationwide Building Society; copies may be made for private study and research purposes only. The dataset is subject to registration under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition:

In 2010 the United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets

Custodial history: Originally transferred from the Countryside Agency. The United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) then held the dataset(s) until 2010 when they were transferred to The National Archives (TNA).
Accumulation dates: 2000-2005
Selection and destruction information: Selected under acquisition policy, documenting the work of the Countryside Agency in administering the Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) Scheme. Single database of projects sponsored selected.
Accruals: No further full accruals are expected as the LHI grant programme came to an end in September 2006.
Unpublished finding aids:

Extent of documentation: 20 documents, Dates of creation of documentation: 1998-2006.

Administrative / biographical background:

The Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) grant programme was administered by the Countryside Agency (CA); it was largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with additional funding from the Nationwide Building Society. The LHI website and ICT projects were operated by a website team drawn from Countryside Agency staff. The website and content management system was developed on behalf of CA by an external contractor, Torchbox Ltd. The successor body to the Countryside Agency was Natural England, set up in October 2006. Although Natural England had no direct responsibility for this dataset, the organisation was involved in the loan of original documentation materials to NDAD in January 2007.

The Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) was launched in England in February 2000. The LHI programme was administered by the Countryside Agency and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with additional sponsorship from Nationwide Building Society. As a major part of LHI the Countryside Agency developed a website to enable project groups to showcase their work.

The main site was launched in December 2002. When the LHI ceased to award new grants in September 2006, the facility to upload project output material was removed, but the site remained available for viewing, and (as at February 2007) is now supported by HLF. The transfer to NDAD took place in September 2006: data derived from the project directory and the associated project outputs in the form of documents, images, audio and video files were all transferred.

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