Equal misery reserved for e-library projects

February 9, 1996

Electronic library projects are likely to escape the worst effects of this year's higher education funding cuts.

The funding bodies' Joint Information Systems Committee has taken a relatively mild 4 per cent cut in its budget, and is likely to follow the "equal misery" principle when it meets today to find the necessary savings.

The Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology, the JISC subcommittee responsible for electronic library projects, has proceeded cautiously in funding projects for 1996-97.

On January 26 FIGIT approved three projects involving images.

One (Digimap) involves digital maps, another (Helix) will digitise the Hulton Deutsch picture library and the Valentine photographic archive, and the third (Midrib) will digitise a large set of medical images from St George's Hospital Medical School.

About a dozen new proposals are still theoretically at risk if FIGIT's budget is cut by more than 5 per cent. FIGIT was originally offered Pounds 15 million over three years.

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