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2.6 Project Team

 

The makeup of the project team, in terms of the roles designated as part of the project design, was dictated by the nature of the project and by the financial realities. In the original drafts of the application and the "Overview", it was proposed to integrate a newly designed archive catalogue database with the Internet, to create a radically rich and flexible, bespoke web-based facility through which scanned material and database entries would assemble a relevant web-page on demand in response to a specific query: Someone searching on "Bodenham", for example, would generate a unique, structured web-page presenting all of the available documents, recordings, photographs and so on relating to Bodenham. A search on "Bodenham 1949-1957" would generate a new web-page containing only the relevant material, assembled on the fly using the Internet-integrated archive database. The web-page assembled for someone searching on their own name would contain only material related specifically to them. Metadata was crucial. Different levels of access would obtain, with confidential material available only at the Archive and only with the permission of the archivist, and with some kinds of potentially sensitive material available only on machines in the Archive, and only - in the case of some - to the individual concerned. There are echoes of this radical aspiration in the final project design, but it became clear that the salary of the proposed web environment officer, with the skills required and integrated into the project at the level required to make a bespoke system work, was prohibitive in relation to the scale of grant the project could realistically expect HLF to consider. Oral historians, archivists and secretaries are relatively inexpensive and they, with a part-time project director - part-time, again, because of cost - made up the project team, addressing the core tasks of recording memories; gathering, processing, cataloguing and making memory in its various forms accessible; and ensuring the business of the project was conducted smoothly.