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RLG Receives $100,000 from Delmas Foundation

Grant will be used to improve international access to primary resource materials

Mountain View, Calif., July 12, 1996--The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG) has received a $100,000 grant from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to improve researchers' access to valuable primary source materials in its members' collections.

"We are pleased that the Delmas Foundation has seen fit to support one of RLG's top-priority goals--improving access to important archival and other primary sources for researchers and scholars around the world," says Linda West, director of RLG's Member Services division.

Specifically, the grant will support RLG's project to train its members in applying SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) coding to their archival finding aids. These finding aids--guides that describe in detail the content of archival collections--are a valuable link between brief, collection-level records now in the RLIN database, and the materials themselves.

Eight training sessions--dubbed FAST for "Finding Aids SGML Training"--will involve 120 staff in RLG institutions in the US and UK over a two-year period. The end result will be a critical mass of electronic finding aids and an infrastructure that will provide effective access for researchers.

RLG designed the FAST project based on advice from its members and in conjunction with others championing the adoption of EAD (Encoded Archival Description)--the emerging national SGML standard. These include the University of California at Berkeley, which built the foundation for the current work. "The use of SGML encoding of finding aids promises to be one of the better uses of new technologies available to the library and archival repository world," points out West, "and is directly related to RLG's aims in fostering resource sharing."

The first regional FAST session will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, July 29-30. The session will be run by Kris Kiesling of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, currently an RLG visiting associate, and Michael Fox of the Minnesota Historical Society. Two more sessions are scheduled to be held at the National Archives in Washington, DC, in August and a fourth in London in September, for RLG's UK members.

The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG) is a not-for-profit membership corporation of universities, archives, historical societies, national libraries, and other institutions devoted to improving access to information that supports research and learning. RLG owns and operates databases and software to serve the information access and management needs of both its members and non-member institutions and individuals worldwide.

The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions that preserve the resources through which this cultural heritage is transmitted.

Last Updated 8/96
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