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The National Irish Visual Arts Library Digital Archive

NIVAL at The National College of Art & Design launches Document, an exhibition showcasing some of the rich material archived at the library. Fluid Rock have worked with NIVAL to produce a digital archiving system.

Document - a NIVAL exhibition at NCAD

Document, an exhibition curated by The National Irish Visual Arts Library launched last month in NCAD Gallery.  As well as showcasing some of the great material archived at the library, it was the first time to publicise the www.nival.ie website developed by Fluid Rock.


A website is what you see when you visit www.nival.ie, however in the background is one of the more complicated database projects produced by Fluid Rock.  A series of databases in Access, and Filemaker Pro were already available, developed by various developers, but inconsistent across schema and standards.


Our objective was to introduce archiving standards (ICA-ISAD(G)) that would have the potential to adopt data exchange protocals in the future.  A system that could account for archives with varying archival levels but have uniform input screens for the administrators going forward. 

TYPO3 has been used as the underlying platform with the archival system built as a custom extension based on International Council of Archives (ICA) standards for describing fonds and their component parts, Institutions and their Archival Holdings and Archival Authorities, creators of the archives.

The online databases with over 160k records, represent a fraction of what is available physically at NIVAL.  In addition to digital records of special collections, digital archives for artists, galleries, exhibitions and digital ephemera have also been added and cross referenced.  Going forward NIVAL now have the tools to set up new online databases and improve the ability to find physical objects in the Visual Arts Library.

If you get a chance, drop by the Document exhibition, it runs until May 26th 2012.

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