|Researching Ceramics online database Michael Cardew|
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Researching Ceramics Online Database is a cumulative, interactive database available on the Internet as a free resource for researchers, practitioners and anyone else with an interest in ceramics. It is an outcome of the collaborative work of ICRC (Interpreting Ceramics Research Collaboration). The first outcome of the collaboration was the electronic journal Interpreting Ceramics and the database is an integral part of the journal web site, easily accessible from the Interpreting Ceramics contents page. As the database develops it will also be promoted as a semi-independent resource with a dedicated web address.
The database will develop around a series of projects. The first of these, on the studio potter Michael Cardew, provides a template for the initial testing of the database and its delivery over the Internet. Once the viability of the database has been established, then its scope will be widened to include other projects. These might be centred on an individual maker, a theme, a type of ceramics or a currently existing resource such as an archive or collection.
The Michael Cardew database has its origins in The Michael Cardew Centenary Project and Symposium, which was held at the University of Wales School of Art, Aberystwyth, UK, in 2001. This was an international gathering of Cardew scholars and people who had worked with Cardew during his long career. Papers resulting from this symposium have been published in a special edition of Interpreting Ceramics.
Although information about Michael Cardew is available through other searchable databases such as online bibliographic searching services, the advantage of a project-based database is that a wider range of material and information, across a longer time span, can be gathered and made available for searching. For example, information about exhibitions, promotional material, audio-visual material and images can be included in the database as can information about unpublished material. The Michael Cardew database thus provides a model for the gathering and the generation of information through a focussed project, event or series of events and activities. This is the intended model for future expansion of the database covering other subjects.
Development of the Michael Cardew database was supported by a small grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board in 2002.