Our work on DERA (Digital Education Resource Archive http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/ – launched in February) continues and is attracting some very positive comments from colleagues across the sector which is extremely encouraging. There are now almost 1800 documents in there now, including those of the recently closed Sector Skills Council, Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK).
We are very pleased to announce that ‘Information Management Services’, part of the Skills Funding Agency, have donated part of the collection of publications previously housed in their internal library. This material is of immense value to the research community but as it’s not possible for them to continue to store it, and is currently inaccessible to anyone outside the Agency they are passing it on to us.
Specifically they are depositing publications produced by the two previous incarnations of their organisation – the Further Education Funding Council (1992 – 2000) and the Learning and Skills Council (2000 – 2005). The LSC material will supplement the publications we are collecting from the LSC’s on-line ‘Reading Room’ which largely comprises more recent publications. This is a sizable donation – approximately 2000 FEFC items and a similar amount for the LSC so this is going to take us some time to work through! The print stuff will be added to our existing library collection and the electronic items to DERA. We will be updating existing catalogue records to reflect the additional availability of electronic versions where it applies.
The great thing is that depositing this material with us ensures its permanent preservation and will provide easy access to researchers both present and future.