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Holburne Museum of Art
Holburne Museum of Art

Press Release - 06 December 2004

New resource to help unlock Bath’s cultural heritage

The collections of artefacts in Bath’s museums, libraries and archives are being made more accessible thanks to a new resource launched this week (Wednesday 8 December 2004).

Tap into Bath

Tap into Bath is a new online resource that will allow members of the public, school pupils and researchers to find information on the hundreds of collections housed in 30 of the city’s heritage, academic, commercial and professional organisations - from the Roman Baths Museum to the Bath Chronicle.

People visiting the Tap into Bath website will be able to find out what collections of historical artefacts, texts and images can be found on their doorstep.

They can also find other useful information on, for example, how they can arrange to see the collections, some of which may usually kept behind closed doors.

The Tap into Bath project has been co-ordinated by the University of Bath Library and Learning Centre together with UKOLN, a centre of expertise in digital information management, which is also based at the University.

“Bath has a wealth of cultural, educational and historical material in its collections, and not only those focused on our Roman and Georgian heritage,” said Alison Baud from the University’s library.

“It has been a fantastic experience working with an amazing range of organisations throughout the city, to bring together information on the most important collections held in Bath.

“It is a good example of town and gown working together and a ground-breaking example of collaboration between libraries, archives and museums.

“People will be able to use Tap into Bath to find out what information they can access on a wide range of topics - anything from collections of books written in Urdu to the Roman artefacts in local museums.”

“As far as we know this is the first time organisations in any British city have worked together to produce a resource of this kind,” said Ann Chapman from UKOLN.

“In building the Tap into Bath resource we have used a recognised framework which will allow interested bodies to set up their own local or subject-based resource finder.

“We have already had some interest from other areas in the UK, such as York, and Milton Keynes, who would like to do the same thing.

"We have also been approached by the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at King’s College London about using it as a finding aid for UK library collections on Australia and New Zealand and it looks like they will be the first to use the software developed by the University of Bath for the project.

"The Tap into Bath software is freely available to anyone who wants to use it.”

Dr Liz Lyon, Director of UKOLN, said: “The benefits of providing useful and current information about the rich and various local collections is self-evident, both for the local community, for visitors and for the wider public.

"I warmly welcome the effective partnerships that have led to the creation of this most useful Web-based tool.”