From on-line to on-target: issues in the development and uptake of usable resources on the web

Cressida Chappell (chair) 
History Data Service, the Data Archive 
University of Essex 
Colchester, UK
Oscar Struijvé (organiser) 
History Data Service, the Data Archive 
University of Essex 
Colchester, UK
Arne Solli 
Department of History 
University of Bergen 
Bergen, Norway
Astrid Wissenburg 
Project MALIBU, Library 
King's College London 
London, UK

An up-to-date version of this document can be found at

Panel session

A growing volume of on-line resources has become available for use in humanities teaching. learning and scholarship. The question is not any longer if there is or should be a place for this development, but rather how best to occupy and shape this 'not so new anymore' space.

This session explores trends and ideas in the creation, provision, dissemination and use of on-line humanities resources. It will focus on the additional and specific requirements of humanities teaching and learning - as opposed to scholarship.

In this context, questions will be raised such as:

Some, admittedly partial, answers will be provided through discussion, critical assessment and comparison  of practical examples of on-line provision of electronic resources for the Humanities in the UK and Norway. Although the initiatives presented have emerged from the Historical disciplines, they  show a clear and increasing trend towards interdisciplinarity, internationalisation and co-operation in resource provision and re-use.

Contributions in this panel session are expected from representatives of the History Data Service located at the University of Essex (UK) the Department of History at the University of Bergen (Norway) and the TLTP History Courseware Consortium (UK).

"Providing high quality usable resources on the internet: mission in progress"  

Oscar Struijvé, History Data Service, the Data Archive, University of Essex, Colchester, UK. 

The History Data Service (HDS) [2] is the UK national centre for the accession, archiving and dissemination of computer-readable historical data. The HDS is located and integrated in the UK Data Archive and is the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) [3] service provider for the historical disciplines. The HDS collection constitutes a valuable teaching and learning resource, provided that data, documentation and contextual information is easily accessible and disseminated according to accepted and appropriate standards.

The HDS's programme of work to utilise new opportunities provided by ICT , in particular to enhance access to the collection, will be discussed.
Key elements of this programme include:

Activities and projects undertaken in these areas by the HDS are based on a conceptual framework called TESTMIx [4],  and an information plan for electronic dissemination activities 'using technology to enhance access', based on the TESTMIx framework. In addition structured consultation of the HDS user communities [5] and experts [6] is conducted in order to provide not only  a user-friendly but also a truly useful and accessible service.

"Teaching Math and History using the WWW - A bright future or new Dark Ages?"

Arne Solli, Department of History, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

The Department of History, University of Bergen, Norway [7] hosts a large collection and range of machine-readable sources, including the Census of Norway for the year 1801 [8] and has an established reputation in the on-line dissemination of electronic resources. Many of these resources are now available on the WWW as "Digitalarkivet" [9] (The Digital Archive).  The main function of the "Digitalarkivet" is to make the sources supplied by the National Archives of Norway available on the WWW and to give different user interfaces allowing different types of use of the available sources. In  this way one single source can have multiple appearances: as full text, as coded or classified into categories and aggregated.  Some of these sources have been used in WWW based teaching packages, for teaching across subject disciplines both in primary and secondary schools and at university level.

This contribution will highlight some of the problems faced when integrating a historical source published on the WWW and teaching history using the WWW. Three brief examples will be presented to show how history can be combined with subjects like maths and statistics in WWW-based learning packages aimed towards secondary schools. It will focus on three important questions:

"The History Courseware Consortium: pedagogy empowered by technology" 

Astrid Wissenburg, Project MALIBU, Library, King's College London, London, UK. 

The  TLTP History Courseware Consortium [10] is a collaboration between over 60 universities, aiming to develop electronic resources for (undergraduate) teaching. This contribution will describe the work, products and results to date of the consortium, with a particular focus on:

References and links

[1] University of Bergen, 1998. "The Future of the Humanities in the Digital Age" conference World Wide Web pages

[2] History Data Service, 1996. History Data Service World Wide Web Homepage

[3] Arts and Humanities Data Service, 1996. Arts and Humanities Data Service World Wide Web Homepage

[4] O. Struijvé, 1998. "The TESTMIx Model". History Data Service

[5] Cressida Chappell and Astrid Wissenburg, 1998. "Scholarly Exploitation of Digital Resources: a Workshop for Historians"  Workshop Report. History Data Service

[6] Cressida Chappell and Sheila Anderson, 1997. "Discovering Digital Resources : a Workshop for Historians": Workshop Report. History Data Service

[7] Department of History, University of Bergen, 1998. Department of History World Wide Web Homepage (English)

[8] Department of History, University of Bergen, 1996. "The Census of Norway from the year 1801" World Wide Web pages

[9] Department of History, University of Bergen, 1998. "Digitalarkivet" World Wide Web pages
<URL:> English language version <URL:>

[10] History Courseware Consortium, 1998. The TLTP History Courseware Consortium World Wide Web Homepage