System Simulation / ELISE
The aim of the ELISE I project was to model a European Community facility providing access to full colour image banks and supporting textual data held in partner states. The project used agreed standards where they existed and contributed to the development of standards where they did not. ELISE I addressed issues of interconnectivity, provision of new library services and stimulating the market for telematic products.

The project was a co-operative venture between major libraries and companies within the IT, digital imaging and telecommunications sectors.

ELISE I was successful in producing a working prototype system for providing image access from remote sites.

ELISE I objectives were to:

Design and establish a bank of full colour images and associated text
Model the interconnection of multiple image banks
Agree relevant standards
Demonstrate the pilot and communications model
Prepare for the development of multiple image banks for stage 2

ELISE II built on the successes of phase 1 and combined cutting edge technology with established standards to create an acceptable image service. ELISE II started on the first of October 1996 and ran for three years.

ELISE II objectives were to:

Produce a standard Web based user interface
Deal with Copyright Management
Provide Intelligent Multi-Domain Searching
Allow for Powerful User Tracking
Support multiple data types TEXT, IMAGES, VIDEO, (SOUND)
Use established standards such as TCP/IP, Z39.50, ODBC

Creation of Elise II Archive

The primary subject areas for the collection were: social history; media - film and TV; geographic; and medical. The images were digitised from a wide range of original source material and included: slides, drawings, photographic prints, 35mm slides, microscopic slides (pathology slides) and others such as museum objects, transparencies, glass plates, X-rays and video material. Each partner managed their own material, and had defined methods for dealing with it.

The database management system (DBMS) software used at partner sites included Index+ from System Simulation Ltd, TRIP and Zebra. These databases have Z39.50 interfaces for the on-line delivery of text records to the database server.

Some partners used other DBMSs, such as Microsoft Access, in order to help with the data capture side of the task. In these cases, and where museum partners were running parallel collection management systems and Web delivery systems, appropriate data was exported from the main catalogue and loaded on to the delivery system for controlled user access. Each partner used their own locally designed system, with Metadata provided at image, sub-collection and overall collection layers.

There were nine partners in the project, 7 of which provided images. The partners were:

De Montfort University, UK (lead partner)
University of Limerick (Image Server for Hunt and RTE)
Hunt Museum, (Limerick)
Radio Telefis Eireann, (Dublin)
Katholieke Universiteit - Tilburg University, (Netherlands)
Laboratorium voor Biomedische Informatika (Netherlands)
Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
IBM UK Scientific Center, (no images, technical development)
The Victoria and Albert Museum