British Library turns to tech to manage 150m-item collection

Written by Sam Trendall on 29 September 2017 in News
News

Library puts out request for information from potential suppliers

The British Library adds a further seven miles to its 400 miles of shelving each year  Credit: PA

The British Library is looking to create a digital means of managing its collection and has invited potential suppliers to put forward suggestions for how to do so.

The library is looking to identify and implement technology to help manage the process of “acquiring, describing, preserving, and enabling access to our collections”. It has published a request for information seeking potential vendors who can contribute ideas that will help the library gain a greater understanding of what components might be needed to build such a platform, and how much the deployment, support, and maintenance costs might be.


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The library said: “The solution we are seeking must be efficient and extensible, capable of managing large amounts of complex metadata and content… and integrating the various specialist components in a shared collection management and discovery infrastructure via standardised interfaces to internal and external users.”

It added: “We invite vendors responding to this RFI to provide as much information relating to the requirements specified as they see fit, on the understanding that no single system may fulfil all of them.”

The British Library receives a copy of every single publication produced in the UK and Ireland and each year three million new items are added to its 150 million-strong collection. The library, whose main site is in London’s Kings Cross, has almost 400 miles of shelves, and needs another seven miles with every passing year.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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