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Museums and the Web

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Casgliad y Werin Cymru – People's Collection Wales: Combining Museum, Library, Archive, Broadcaster and User-Generated Content to Create "Wales in a Website"

Tom Pert, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales; Dafydd James, National Museum Wales, United Kingdom


Casgliad y Werin Cymru – The People's Collection Wales – is more than just a website: it is a collaborative and federated programme developed by national institutions to tell the story of a nation from the perspective of its people. In this paper, we will explain the development of this open-source system which integrates material from organisations with very different business models and data structures, and blends it through its API into a set of geo-aware digital cultural heritage resources that make sense to the end-user.

Keywords: Wales,collaborative, open-source, cultural heritage resource

1. In the beginning...

Casgliad y Werin Cymru/the People's Collection Wales (PCW) is a website that sprang from an unlikely beginning. In 2008, CyMAL, the policy division of the Welsh Assembly Government responsible for Museums, Archives and Libraries, was asked to respond to the commitment in the One Wales document (the agreement between the Welsh Labour Party and Plaid Cymru coalition) to establish an all-Wales collection of people's history. Initially, most people expected this new collection to be housed in a new museum, developed somewhere in the South Wales valleys. The problem for CyMAL was that most of the interesting material relating to this topic was already in various museums and archives, many of which would be reluctant to hand it over to a new, competing institution. The second obvious problem was that the development of a new museum would be very expensive.

So it was decided to adopt a 21st century approach to developing a pan-Wales collection of human history. Initially named Casgliad y Bobl/The People's Collection (later changed to Casgliad y Werin Cymru/the People's Collection Wales to give a stronger Welsh identity), an innovative new website was to be developed to collect, interpret, distribute and discuss Wales' cultural heritage online.

It was at MW2008 that key members of the project development team first met and discussed the core data model the People's Collection Wales might adopt. Much of the inspiration for the site can be attributed to David Bearman's paper on Geo-Aware Digital Cultural Heritage (Bearman, 2008), in which he describes his approach of "turning the museum inside out and the embedding of the collection in physical space". Adding spatio-temporal values to museum content allows museums to:

  • share authority and interpretation
  • repatriate 'stolen' museum objects virtually rather than physically
  • engage communities in new ways far away from our museum sites
  • re-contextualise objects and collections in time and place
  • allow for the recombination of objects from one museum with another to restore temporal and spatial relevance to groups of objects (Chan, 2008)

Bearman's principles provided the starting point for the development of the data standard for all content within the People's Collection Wales. The website would provide a searchable index of online content about Welsh life, culture and heritage, all of which would be tagged by place, subject and time. A Web mapping service could provide access and searching of content spatially, and a timeline facility could allow temporal searching and access to chronological information.

The website would be available on multiple platforms so that content could be accessed not just at a PC with a broadband connection, but also in the real world through smartphone apps, and "not-so-smart-phones" via the mobile Web.

In June 2008, less than three months after MW2008, the People's Collection Wales project vision statement had been drafted, and the then-Welsh Assembly Government Heritage Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas announced the first steps in the development of an online collection of the history of Wales and its people: the first of its kind in the UK.

The creation of an All Wales People's Collection Wales is a key commitment for the Assembly Government. It will help widen understanding of our rich and diverse heritage and it places Wales at the forefront of technological developments for multilingual access to heritage and culture. …

The People's Collection Wales will give all of us the ability to become digital curators and in doing so enrich everyone's understanding of Welsh heritage and culture, both now, and for the future. (Thomas)

The project vision statement provides a basic "constitution" for the People's Collection Wales, and serves as the primary driver for the direction of the project.

1) What is Casgliad y Werin Cymru?

Casgliad y Werin Cymru / The People's Collection Wales represents an important One Wales commitment to develop an innovative approach to collect, interpret, distribute and discuss Wales' cultural heritage in an online environment. It is a world-class bilingual online resource which extends an understanding of our culture and heritage both within Wales and beyond.

2) Who is it for? – the key target audiences

  1. People who live in Wales – all ages and socio-economic backgrounds
  2. People from outside Wales – all ages and socio-economic backgrounds
  3. English speakers
  4. Welsh speakers

3) What will it do?

It will provide to these audiences:

  • An engaging online multimedia platform which will store and provide links to bilingual content created by Welsh museums, archives and libraries in addition to user-generated content created by individuals, local societies and communities.
  • A flexible set of easy-to-use content management tools which will be tailored to different users in order to encourage contribution of content and interaction; e.g. simple tools to create multimedia 'My Collections'; 'My Community's Collections' and 'My Local Museum Collection', drawing in content which will be tagged using a 'traffic light' system; i.e., green for validated content from authoritative sources, amber for content generated within the platform, and red for external 3rd party content.
  • A comprehensive bilingual searchable index of online content about Welsh life, culture and heritage which will tag all content by theme, place, subject, time, media type, User-Generated Taxonomy (UGT or "folksonomy") and source. A geographical approach will provide access online via an integrated geographical information system (GIS). A timeline-based approach will provide another intuitive method of accessing information.
  • A set of community interaction tools that provide an integrated means of communication within the platform/site; e.g., notifications.

2. Choosing the contractor

In order to comply with European Competition law, an exhaustive tendering process was conducted to ensure complete transparency over the selection of the Web development company. Following a huge number of hours spent assessing tender documents using online tender evaluation software, Sequence, a Web development company based in Cardiff, Wales, was selected to develop the website.

Sequence immediately set about developing the site using a flexible development approach. This approach saw them rapidly develop an Alpha, prototype site that could be used and critiqued to assist in the ongoing development, rather than a lot of time being wasted in committee meetings where the site's operation would be discussed at the theoretical level. As an approach to getting a functional site up and running within a short timeframe, this method of development was very successful.

3. Development partners

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (AC-NMW), the National Library of Wales (NLW) and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) formed the initial stakeholders for the development programme. Each of these venerable institutions holds substantial existing digital resources, published online through their own facilities, and initially their aim was to collaborate on the development of content and the Web connectors that would enable them to publish their data to the People's Collection Wales API from their own databases, thereby avoiding duplication of datasets and the associated management issues that duplication of datasets from multiple partners can cause.

The Museum's resource, Rhagor (, is a website for the national collections and the stories behind them. It consists of articles, galleries, and interactive and audio-visual content, contributed from curatorial departments across the Museum's multiple disciplines. The content taken from Rhagor was limited to History and Industry, with approximately half the content delivered from the Museum developed specifically for the People's Collection. There is scope to extend the People's Collection to natural sciences in the future.

The Royal Commission publishes its digital information through Coflein (, the online database for the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW), the national collection of information about the historic environment of Wales. Coflein allows public access to details of around 85,000 archaeological sites, monuments, buildings and maritime sites in Wales, together with an index to the drawings, manuscripts and photographs held in the NMRW archive collections.

Culturenet Cymru, based at the Library and funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, collaborates with heritage bodies and community groups throughout Wales to develop a range of digitisation projects. One of its websites, Gathering the Jewels (, features over 30,000 images of objects, books, letters, aerial photographs and other items contributed from museums, archives and libraries throughout Wales.

It was important that the aforementioned organisations and their resources be involved from the outset as this would ensure a strong foundation of initial thematic and spatial content on the site before launch to the public. Though all initial partners had expertise in the social, cultural and industrial history of Wales, they also had other organisational priorities – not only online – that had to be aligned at a senior level.

After the first stakeholder Web-connectors had been proven to work, more content could be included from other pan-Wales organisations from outside the sector, such as the BBC, and also from regional and local museums, archives, libraries, groups and societies.

After launching at the 2010 National Eisteddfod, members of the public were also able to add their own content to the site. In time, this user-generated content will greatly extend the range of material which can be accessed via the People's Collection's website. Many of the site's users enjoy the opportunity the site gives them to present the stories of their own families within the broader context of national and international history.

Fig 1: Casgliad y Werin/People's Collection Wales homepageFig 1: Casgliad y Werin/People's Collection Wales homepage

4. Content data structure

Content, whether from institutions or users, is categorised using the following data structure:


Items are what the People's Collection is built around. An item is a single media file and may be an image, text, video, audio, 3D (.wrl) or multi-part (multiple related images; e.g. pages from a diary) file. The item detail page contains the item itself, a description of it, and information on where else the item is being used within the site (such as in a collection). Basic item metadata is displayed in the right-hand column, along with related content and tags. Items can be viewed as stand-alone items media files, as well as being combined to form Collections, Stories and Themes.


A Collection is a group of items that are related to a certain subject. The Collection page allows users to easily view and select items within a specific Collection.


Stories are sourced from the various partner institutions, and are saved with others under various thematic headings. Stories are written as standalone editorial pieces that are produced by subject area experts from across the stakeholder institutions. Stories are intended to provide in-depth information and narrative around a specific area of interest, and are divided into Chapters to break up the narrative.


The People's Collection contains a number of Themes that are editorially driven and consist of numerous Stories containing related Items that contribute to the telling of Stories.

At time of writing, there are thirteen Themes in the People's Collection Wales, ranging from Customs and Traditions to Food and Drink; Wales at War to Sport and Leisure.

New Themes can be produced only by authorised users through the site's Content Management System.


In the People's Collection Wales a trail is a geographical route, usually with associated geo-located digital media, that exists as single media item within the People's Collection Wales data structure. In most cases Trails have been designed for users to follow on foot, or some other mode of transport. However, the facility can also be used to show journeys that are not designed to be followed by anyone, but illustrate an historical journey, or the movement of people or commodities.

5. Tools & Functions

To ensure that users of the site make best use of the content available, contribute their own content, and make repeated return visits to the site, a novel set of tools and functions were developed:


The People's Collection scrapbook is where the users can store all their favourite items from around the collection. The scrapbook items can then be used to create or add to content on the site such as collections, stories, themes and learning materials.

Scrapbook entries can be created by viewing an Item and clicking 'Add to Scrapbook'. From here, the item will then appear in a user's Scrapbook and can then be re-viewed on login and re-used in applications such as Story Builder or Trail Builder, or combined with other Items to form Collections.


The map timeline provides the ability to search the content by its relevance in history. By moving the sliders on the timeline, the user can select a specific date range. The map will then only display items related to that date range. For example, users requiring information on Cardiff in WWII could perform a search that would display all items related to Cardiff on the map. Then, using the timeline, they can filter the search results to show only items relevant to a date range of 1939 – 1945.

Story Builder tool

The Interactive Story Builder tool allows people to use video, audio and image items from their scrapbook to create a brand-new video using an online video editor. Images, video and audio files are placed on to a timeline to build up the users' stories. Title slides and captions can also be created to add a narrative to the video.

Trail Builder tool

The Trail Builder tool allows any account-holding user of the website to quickly and easily create a trail route, with associated digital media, and publish this to all other users of the site. The process of creating a trail has been made as simple as possible in order that all users should feel able to create routes that help them to bring their stories to life using the Welsh landscape. It is anticipated that over time the PCW could become host to thousands of user-generated trails.

Mobile phone delivery

A micro-browser version of the site has been developed to allow users to search and view content from their mobile phone.

A smartphone app has also been developed for iPhone and Android operating systems. 'Trails Cymru' is a free app that allows users to discover and view PCW content based on their current position, as well as to find and view trails based on their current location. As well as being a trail viewing platform, the app is also a trail recorder. Using GPS, a route can be recorded by a user, and at any point along that route, photos, video or audio can be captured. At the completion of recording, the user can choose to publish the trail through the website.

6. Audience

As a government-funded website, the PCW has to be aimed at the largest possible audience. The breadth of audience has implications for both the content and editorial tone of the site, and also for the design and functionality of the pages themselves. In terms of accessibility, the guidance documentation for content creators offers the following advice:

The accessibility of the resource should allow the People's Collection Wales to reach a broad audience of many ages, diverse backgrounds and interests. As such all material provided for the People's Collection should be able to work across these audience groups as broadly as possible. Remember, not everyone is an academic, lead people through the information and encourage them to explore.

In 2006, a survey of youths and adults was conducted to learn about their use of social computing technology (Forrester Group, 2006). As a result, users were grouped into six different categories of participation:

  • Inactive (52%)
  • Spectators (read blogs, watch peer-generated videos and listen to podcasts) (33%)
  • Joiners (use social networking sites) (19%)
  • Collectors (tag web pages) (15%)
  • Critics (Comment on blogs, post ratings and reviews) (19%)
  • Creators (Publish Web pages, publish or maintain a blog, upload video to sites like YouTube) (13%)

This survey predates the massive explosion in online social networking, and were it to be updated, a large increase in the percentage of "Joiners" would be anticipated. However, the basic categorization and the percentages in all other categories are probably still an accurate representation of the online audience. It was suggested that these categories formed a ladder of participation, with progression from one to the other up the ladder.

A key aim of the site is that to cater to and engage with each category, and promote user progression from Inactive to Creator categories.

The Welsh Diaspora

Our stated aim of targeting audiences outside Wales had implications for the development of the site, in particular the development of the Web mapping system.

In order to best serve the needs of those in Wales, we wanted to include the most detailed mapping available from the Ordnance Survey (the national mapping agency for Great Britain). We also wanted to include historic mapping, also originally surveyed by the Ordnance Survey, which we hold in four epochs, published between 1870 and 1943 at a scale of 10"/mile.

The site's Web mapping system combines Bing and Ordnance Survey base mapping through an OpenLayers Web mapping system. The global mapping functionality of the site allows users to use the site to explore movement of Welsh people and products around the globe, and this is an important area of content development for the future. While visiting the United States for MW2011, PCW staff will be conducting workshops with Welsh heritage groups in Pennsylvania in an effort to establish a community of contributors on the far side of the Atlantic.

Fig 2: S4C's People's Collection Wales advertFig 2: S4C's People's Collection Wales advert

7. Advertising

An initial problem for the launch of the site to the Welsh public was that, because of restricted budgets as a result of the Government Spending Review (the UK Government's attempt to reduce the budget deficit during the global recession), we were not allowed to pay for any advertising – even marketing materials such as leaflets or bookmarks had to be fully justified and approved centrally.

In November 2010, S4C, the Welsh language broadcaster which runs its own TV channel, became a formal partner of the People's Collection Wales. As part of the partnership agreement, they agreed to fund the production and broadcast of an advert ( – a key tool in getting the PCW more widely recognised.

Initial figures from Google Analytics show that getting the website featured in TV programmes and commercial advert breaks has led to a significant increase in user traffic.

8. Accessibility

As well as working to make the writing have as broad appeal as possible, the actual operation of the PCW site has to meet defined standards for accessibility by the Welsh Assembly Government – for example, it is a legal requirement for the website to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

We worked with the Shaw Trust's Website Accessibility Accreditation Service to test the site through a full technical audit and rigorous disability user testing. As far as possible the site exceeds what is required in terms of accessibility, and where content or tools don't currently meet the required standard, we are committed to a process of continual improvement. A PCW accessibility policy has been developed, and is available to all through the homepage (, which sets out how the partnership will continue to work to ensure that the site and its media are as inclusive as possible.

9. Digital exclusion

According to recent research (Welsh Assembly Government, 2010), approximately 900,000 people in Wales don't have access to the Internet at home. This is a large percentage of the Welsh population, estimated at 2,999,300 (Office for National Statistics, 2010). However, the People's Collection can help with the Delivering Digital Inclusion framework (Welsh Assembly Government, 2010) by providing a repository for government sponsored community digitisation projects, and promoting the Web and digital literacy for target audiences. Also, high speed broadband is not yet available in many parts of Wales – the need for added investment is outlined in the Digital Wales document launched in December 2010 (

10. Brand Identity

No partner organisations' brands are highlighted anywhere on the site, apart from as users and contributors. This is so that it is not seen as affiliated with any particular institution; however, this does mean the site has the difficult task of starting from scratch the development of a recognisable cultural brand. The National Museum Wales, National Library Wales and Royal Commission are all working to highlight the website via various communications, but it is a steep curve to generate general public awareness of a website that is not overtly associated with a well-recognised brand.

Fig 3: The branding for the People's Collection Wales represents the "DNA of Wales"  Fig 3: The branding for the People's Collection Wales represents the "DNA of Wales"

The brand identity for the PCW is intended to represent the DNA of Wales and its people. The brand is designed to be easily recognisable and flexible enough to accommodate many different applications across various platforms and in diverse marketing contexts.

The branding has been designed to create an identity that could evolve according to the context it is viewed in, with an iconography that could stand alone and be easily recognised and associated with the people, history, culture and landscape of Wales without the need to use any words at all.

With awareness of the website slowly increasing, we are very dependent on initial users, groups, communities, and societies advocating the project online as well as in various meetings and committees at peer level. As a website with its success dependent on individual content providers, it must target the committed enthusiasts in niche subjects around Wales, as these are the individuals most likely to contribute content and cascade knowledge to their peer groups.

11. Innovation; walking the tightrope between technology and accessibility

From the start of the development of the PCW, a parallel program of innovation projects has been run. The purpose of this programme is to:

  • Demonstrate pioneering approaches to the delivery of cultural heritage material through the People's Collection Wales.
  • Demonstrate techniques which can be scaled-up during later phases of project development.
  • Capture the imagination of users, and encourage them to explore Welsh cultural heritage.

A variety of experimental projects have been run, including a programme of 3D laser scanning of National Museum Wales artefacts, site and building reconstructions, development of a 4D GIS hub, making landscape paintings interactive virtual environments, development of QR code trails, and flash interactive archaeological reconstructions.

The problem with many of these approaches is that the interfaces which allow interaction with the resources developed do not meet the minimum acceptable standard for accessibility. To ensure that the resources developed are available to users of the site without damaging the excellent accessibility rating of the core PCW site, it has been necessary to develop a parallel service – the People's Collection Labs (

The Labs facility is run from a separate server, and takes the form of a public Blog, linked to from the homepage of the main PCW site, which contains links to the latest content and stories, a basic closed content management system that allows the upload and publishing of .wrl and .q3d content, and server space for the hosting of flash interactive animations.

Fig 4: The People's Collection Labs blogFig 4: The People's Collection Labs blog

12. Technical complexities of integrating diverse data


The PCW uses an API to pull through content from stakeholder institutions.

The API pulls in content on a number of levels and integrates tightly with existing digitised collections.

The API is a web-service which allows authoritative sources to submit and share the data they hold with the People s Collection Website. It is a RESTful web-service which means standard HTTP verbs can be used (such as GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) to get, submit, modify and delete the data that is held in the system. The API uses ATOMpub as its publishing protocol, and a schema based on the ATOM format is used for the data submitted via the API.

One of the initial complexities that had to be overcome was how to amalgamate into a single API data from institutions with such diverse data held and presented through their own bespoke Web sites. It was inevitable that each of the partners would have to develop its own Web connector, as they all had the staff best placed to understand the idiosyncrasies of their data.

The structure for a new website to absorb different content had to be hierarchical to allow items, collections, stories, and themes to be uploaded directly to the system. There was some re-purposing of Museum articles to fit within a newer 'stories' structure, as well as publishing new material to populate weaker themes.
In order that data from the Royal Commission could be integrated into the site, a great deal of work was required. National Monument Record data published through the Coflein website is in a very different format to that required by the People's Collection Wales API. A single Coflein record provides information on a single archaeological or historic site, with possibly dozens of associated images. In order for information to be transferred directly from the Coflein database into the People's Collection Wales, the Web connector had to draw selected images from the image database and draw text captions from the photo caption field; both were specifically improved for this purpose.
When transferring a large amount of information to the PCW, the partners involved had to be clear of the copyright implications for the media involved. This was an issue for Culturenet Cymru who had worked with a large number of organisations to license images for Gathering the Jewels (GTJ). The terms originally agreed for the GTJ project did not extend image use to any other website, so there was a lot of work to clear copyright and revise the terms of use. Most of the organisations involved in GTJ agreed to assign new rights to previously digitised material for the People's Collection Wales.

In an effort to develop a standard taxonomy for data once it entered the PCW API, all data contributed from the initial partners was mapped against the Dewey Decimal system.

13. Bilingualism

The website has two domains to cater to both English and Welsh language audiences: this poses a challenge in visual identity. Due to Welsh language mainstreaming, the initial content generated by the partners is created bilingually, and this must be continued as they provide content in the future. However, much of the text will be uploaded by users in just one language, potentially affecting the balance of the website. There are currently no plans to translate user-generated content – but it may be a consideration for the future if the site fails to serve both Welsh and English speaking communities equally.

14. Moderation

All content added to the site through a non-stakeholder account is published and made visible to other users only after it has been through the moderation process. Content is moderated to ensure that it is legal, inoffensive, and has with it all the necessary information on copyright to allow it to be used and re-used under the terms of the PCW.

When planning the moderation system, a great deal of time was spent discussing how we would cope with extremes. What would we do about pornographic images, offensive comments, and racist collections? Even if the type of material being uploaded wasn't offensive, how could we cope with the huge demand on our time that moderating the hundreds of daily uploads would require?

Almost inevitably, these concerns could not be further from the reality of moderation. It is a far greater problem actually ensuring users want to and can easily upload content to the site. Uploads from individual users remains low, with far more coming from local interest groups, clubs and societies, and interventions to prevent offensive material from being uploaded to the site are, to date, unknown. The demand on their time for those that moderate content on the site is minimal. Each member of a core of four or five moderators spends on average an hour a day moderating content.

If there ever is a huge surge in the amount of content being contributed to the site, we have around 15 moderators who are trained and available to cope with any increase in demand, and all partner institutions have agreed that more could be made available should the situation demand it.

15. Forward management of the programme

Cohesion of the core partners

The key challenge for the long-term success of the PCW is to ensure that new, interesting content is continually being added, both by general users and by the institutional partners.

Content development by the public should be assured provided that the site works well, provides clear messages about how to contribute, and is marketed correctly. Ongoing provision of content from the initial partners is obviously also dependent on these factors, but it is also dependent on organisational 'buy-in by those running the institutions, and by the wider Welsh Assembly Government.

A lot of the content added to the site during the development and post-launch phase has been funded by CyMAL, specifically to ensure that there is a minimum level of content available through the site. As the PCW moves from development phase to service phase, it is essential that the site's key partners see it as a core publishing platform for their material, and work it into the project planning for all new activities.

Federated Management Model

Key to ensuring this organisational buy-in is the development of the Federated Management Model. This model will be the first of its kind to be introduced in Wales. It will utilise the skills available within the three institutions to sustain and ensure the facility continues to stay current and relevant.

The federated management model should reduce duplication of skills and expertise, and promote the sharing and transfer of knowledge among the three core institutions. The model will also provide opportunities to pilot innovative technology: it provides an opportunity for the emerging workforces to acquire the skills to deliver emerging services and applications which would have been substantially more difficult to deliver in isolation. The federated management model will also help to provide cost savings and promote the sharing of high level skills and expertise.

Fig 5: The federated management structure of the siteFig 5: The federated management structure of the site

Future hosting, management and development

The PCW has been developed by a commercial Web company. Initially, all partners were very impressed with the way they worked. Project management, the build, and initial testing all ran very smoothly and saw the Alpha site developed in a very short space of time.

Where perhaps this relationship of developer-client has not been so successful is in post-launch deployment of improvements and fixes to the site. Updates and improvements to the site are being made, with all partners reporting bugs and problems through an online facility, but inevitably these take time to be resolved, and it can lead to a feeling of frustration amongst the partner institutions if a problem identified 3 weeks ago has still not been fixed.

It seems likely that at some point over the next three years, maintenance and development of the website will be taken over in-house by one of the stakeholder institutions. This will be a bold move for the team that decides to take on the responsibility as, along with the budget to keep the website online and working, also comes the responsibility to answer to the complaints, concerns and aspirations of the various partners.

16. Future technical development

There are a number of developments we hope to roll out over the coming months and years:


A key area for further development is family history – we have already added a download link for Family Show, but in the future we will aim for further integration of genealogy tools – such as adding location of family members to maps, allowing other users to collaborate on the development of family trees, etc. – into the website.


We aim to develop the facility to output video using HTML5 standard. This should allow for easier multi-platform delivery of video content to mobile phones, Macs and PCs.


We also aim to develop a facility for crowdsourcing projects. Users of the site will be able to visit a section dedicated to calls for participation in crowdsourcing projects being run by the partner institutions.

WebGIS development

The GIS offer of the PCW site will be enhanced. More layers of base mapping will be available to all users, including historic aerial imagery from the 1940s, geological maps, and tourism sites. The functionality of the Web mapping will be enhanced to allow users to pursue advanced queries and to include the maps generated as images within their own stories.

We are also investigating the implementation of MapWarper software (used by New York Public Library in its NYPL MapRectifier website) to allow archival maps to be hosted as items within the PCW data structure. This tool enables members of the public to geo-reference historic map images so that they fit modern mapping. These maps are then saved in a format that allows them to be viewed within the Web mapping system of the site, so a user can compare directly the modern and historic landscape.


Core to the long-term strategy of the PCW is that it should become a service provider to the wider public sector in Wales. As a development funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, it is important that taxpayer's money isn't spent by other departments of national or local government to recreate facilities that already exist within the PCW site.

We are working with a number of local government partners to develop systems that allow them to pull all content for a given area or only content generated by a particular organization into an OpenLayers mapping window content from the PCW system. In the systems that are currently being developed, this data is for Trails within a particular Unitary Authority boundary.

The major benefit to the partners that work with the PCW to develop these systems is the cost saving on development, hosting and moderation of complex rich media. The principal benefits for the PCW are wider availability and increased user figures. In addition, becoming embedded within the online systems of the wider public sector in Wales will help to ensure the long-term funding and sustainability of the programme.

17. Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Rheinallt Jones, People's Collection Wales Programme Manager, and the staff of Culturenet Cymru, CyMAL, the National Library of Wales, National Museum Wales, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Sequence for all their efforts in the development of Casgliad y Werin Cymru/People's Collection Wales.

18. References

Bearman, D. (2008)."Geo-aware Digital Cultural Heritage". Taiwan National Digital Archive Program Annual Conference, Taipei.

Chan, S. (2008). "David Bearman on the inside out museum geo-tagging and location-aware museum data" – ndap2008. Taipei. Last updated 02-Apr-2008. Consulted January 30th 2011. Available

Charron, C., J. Favier & C. Li (2006). "Social Computing: how networks erode institutional power, and what to do about it". Forrester Customer Report.

Welsh Assembly Government (2008). Press release (25 June 2008). Consulted January 30th 2011. Available

Welsh Assembly Government (2010). Consultation: Delivering digital inclusion – A strategic framework for Wales. Thursday, 17-June-2010. Consulted June 18, 2010.

Office for National Statistics (2010) Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – current datasets. 24-June-2010. Consulted January 24, 2010. Http://

Welsh Assmbly Government (2010). Digital Wales.(

Cite as:

Pert, T. and D. James, Casgliad y Werin Cymru – People's Collection Wales: Combining Museum, Library, Archive, Broadcaster and User-Generated Content to Create "Wales in a Website". In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2011: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2011. Consulted