Project Management Committee
thMinutes of the 5th meeting of the Committee held on 25 April 2001 at 2pm at
the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London
Peter Clinch, Project Manager (Secretary)
Richard Cheffins (British Library) – deputising for Jennie Grimshaw Helen Cordell, SOAS
Barbara Tearle, Bodleian Law Library
David Wills, Squire Law Library
Jules Winterton, IALS (Chair)
In attendance for Item 8 only: Steven Whittle (IALS)
Apologies: Jennie Grimshaw.
Minutes of the fourth meeting held on 6th September 2001
Jennie Grimshaw’s name was added to the list of those attending. The
minutes were then agreed as a correct record.
1 Item 2(2): Title of the project
JW noted that as a result of the Committee’s comments further design
drafts for the project logo had been prepared by Launton Press Ltd, and
the Committee papers for the present meeting and the new project web
site (in test version) bore versions finally agreed.
2 Item 2(3): Progress Report for March – May 2000
PC had received no reaction from Ronald Milne or Andy Powell to the
statement on the project’s procedure for data storage and delivery, sent
in June 2000. There was discussion of the recent approval by of a
That JW would write to Ronald Milne to ask how the FLAG project
could feed its expertise on the development of metadata standards into
Item 2(5): MS Access / Web versions of FLAG database
PC reported that owing to pressure of work to develop the database he
believed neither he nor Steven Whittle would be able to compile an
article describing the technical side of the database and the creation of
the collection description template before the Autumn of 2001.
PC & SW to note
Item 4: Report of survey of research needs
PC reported that he had received no response from Ronald Milne to
either the Annual Monitoring Report or the report of the survey, sent to
him in September 2000.
3 Progress report by the Project Manager
PC introduced the report and tabled an update on the number of records now in the
database: 4,093. The Committee received the report and it was
That DW would contact Bill Noblett, Official Publications Librarian,
Cambridge University, to discover if there was other relevant material
in the Royal Commonwealth Society collection, other than in the small
law collection already appraised.
JW explained that Steven Whittle had devoted considerable time to the project since it
had commenced. He had in fact undertaken work, such as developing the Web version
of the database which, originally, it had been thought would be largely put out to an
external organisation. JW noted that fund transfers between the project and IALS
would have to be made. He also noted that it was likely that the project would under
spend this year (mainly because it had been decided not to visit and appraise BLDSC
at Boston Spa). The Committee advised that it would be advisable to carry over to
next year any surplus funds. There were a number of large and un-quantifiable costs
(travel etc to libraries across the UK; clerical assistance with the survey questionnaire)
which would occur. It was
That JW and PC would meet in the near future to discuss the budget
4 Draft survey questionnaire
The Committee discussed the draft survey questionnaire to be sent to over 100
academic law libraries in June 2001, asking for information about their holdings of
foreign, comparative and international law materials. The Committee agreed the form
and content of the questionnaire, subject to a number of presentational improvements.
The Committee advised that some days before the despatch of the questionnaire a
publicity announcement should be placed on the lis-law e-mail discussion list. A
similar announcement might be made on the RSLP list.
5 Evaluation Panel
JW tabled terms of reference and a membership list. It was noted that although about
25 people were mentioned, they came from many parts of the UK and four distinct
backgrounds – law librarianship, the SPTL Libraries Committee, the IALS Libraries
Committee and what might be loosely termed ‘other interested academics’. The main
function of the Panel would be to evaluate the usefulness and ease of searching of the
database. It was thought that for some members this could be achieved remotely, from
their place of work, using a structured feedback sheet. JW reported that a
demonstration had been arranged for the IALS Library Committee on Tuesday 1st
May. DW and BT were interested in demonstrations to interested staff at Cambridge
and Oxford. It was also suggested that demonstrations to IALS LLM students in
Autumn 2001 would provide valuable feedback. HC suggested representatives from
the University of London subject panel would also be interested. It was
That PC would suggest the names of some representatives based in
That all members of the Committee would e-mail JW with suggestions
for further members or means of obtaining evaluations of the database.
That the Evaluation Panel should meet twice by the end of the project:
in Autumn 2001 and Summer 2002.
JW noted that IALS was beginning work to resurrect the Current Legal Research
database last available in paper form in the 1980’s. Links between FLAG and an
electronic CLR database would be valuable.
6 Any other business
JW noted that he would be spending most of June at the Max Planck Institute,
Hamburg and would be assessing part of their collection using the FLAG
JW said that on his return, he would discuss with PC a skeleton structure and content
for the final report of the project. The Committee was keen that the report should
indicate areas for further project work such as digitisation, access to materials and
JW reported briefly on a SCONUL meeting addressed by Sir Michael Anderson, on
the Collection Management Projects.
7 Date and time of next meeting
th August 2001, at 2pm, at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
It was agreed that at this meeting the responses to the survey questionnaire would be discussed and a scheme of visits to libraries by the Project Manager determined. Also, a draft of the Annual Monitoring report should be discussed.
8 Demonstration of the web version of the database
Steven Whittle introduced a demonstration of the web version of the database. The Committee were ‘very impressed’ with the progress made. They suggested a number of amendments and improvements to presentation and layout.
The meeting closed at 5.00pm.
Dr. Peter Clinch