Web Magazine for Information Professionals

What's in Artifact for Further Education?

Jayne Everard writes about the areas covered by the new subject service Artifact and takes us through the facilities on offer to FE practitioners.

Artifact [1] is the arts and creative industries hub of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN) [2] providing free searchable access to high-quality resources on the Web in the following subjects: Architecture, Art, Communications and Media, Culture, Design, Fashion and Beauty, Performing Arts and a range of general subjects such as business advice, events and exhibitions, funding, training and employment opportunities, and much more.

The Artifact Internet Resource Catalogue

Artifact’s core service is the Internet Resource Catalogue containing descriptions of and links to high-quality, evaluated Web sites for the arts and creative industries. All sites have been selected by subject experts from across the UK teaching and learning community and the resources are checked regularly for currency, with new sites being added every day.

The Artifact catalogue can help teachers to find resources to include in their lessons, course materials and reading lists. It can also help students and researchers with a wide range of quality-assured resources to aid with coursework, assignments and research.

Search Options

•a particular subject category
•resource type, for instance Events
•anyword, part of a word or a phrase

A new service for the UK Arts and Creative Industries teaching, learning and research community

Artifact was launched on 10 November 2003 at the Manchester Art Gallery and the London Institute Gallery. Sir George Sweeney, Principal of Knowsley Community College and Alexandra Burslem, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University launched the service in Manchester, as the host city to Artifact and Loyd Grossman, journalist, writer and TV presenter together with Sir Michael Bichard KCB, Rector of the London Institute, launched the service in London.

Speaking about Artifact at the launch event, Loyd Grossman said:

"It hasn't officially been launched yet but I've already bookmarked it!"

Loyd went on to say:

"One of the interesting things about this site is that it has a quality assurance element to it and they've managed to introduce some quality assurance without making it censorious and boring, so you get the right sort of information but you also get serendipity and stimulation as...there's some really wonderful things to be found through Artifact."

Virtual Training Suite Tutorials

Artifact will be maintaining free tutorials on the Web which teach Internet information skills in the following subjects:

These tutorials can be accessed at the Virtual Training Suite of the RDN [3].

Case studies for FE

Working directly with FE practitioners, the RDN has developed practical examples that describe the way in which RDN subject resources can be used to help lecturers deliver particular courses and subject areas. The following topics are available on the Artifact Case Studies page [4]:

Art and Design

Media: Communication and Production

Performing Arts

Future plans

As Artifact is a new service, it will continue to develop both its catalogue of resources and additional services over the next 12 months based on user feedback and surveys. It is possible to keep up to date on the development of Artifact by joining the JISC Artifact list[5].


Constructive criticism is vital to ensure Artifact is built for the community by the community. Let us know what you think about Artifact by completing our online feedback form at:


Let us know about your favourite Web resource for inclusion in Artifact by completing the online suggestion form at:

Suggest a resource

Let us know about your favourite Web resource for inclusion in Artifact by completing the online suggestion form at:


Enhancing the RDN for Further Education

Specifically for Further Education, the Exchange for Learning (X4L) Project [6] will increase the number of records of particular relevance to FE by adding over 14,000 records to the RDN by 2005. A high proportion of these records will be directly relevant to Artifact and its users and these resources will be tagged as of interest to FE to ensure they are easily identified by the FE community.


  1. Artifact Web site http://www.artifact.ac.uk/
  2. The Resource Discovery Network (RDN) http://www.rdn.ac.uk/
  3. RDN Virtual Training Suite http://www.vts.rdn.ac.uk/
  4. Artifact Case Studies http://www.artifact.ac.uk/cases.php
  5. Archives of ARTIFACT the arts and creative industries hub of the RDN http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/ARTIFACT.html
  6. Exchange for Learning (X4L) Programme

Author Details

Jayne Everard
Service Manager —Artifact
Manchester Metropolitan University

Email: J.Everard@mmu.ac.uk
Web site: http://www.artifact.ac.uk/

Return to top