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Talis Group Ltd. is a software company based in
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
, England that develops software for
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completi ...
. They were previously involved in development of library management software and a Semantic Web application platform. In 2005 Talis was voted one of the top ICT Employers in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and No ...
.


History

In 1969 a number of libraries founded a small co-operative project, based in Birmingham, to provide services that would help the libraries become more efficient. The project was known as the Birmingham Libraries Co-operative Mechanisation Project, or BLCMP, and included the library of the
University of Birmingham The University of Birmingham (informally Birmingham University) is a Public university, public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen's College, Birmingha ...
. At this time the concept of
library automation An integrated library system (ILS), also known as a library management system (LMS), is an enterprise resource planning system for a library, used to track items owned, orders made, bills paid, and patrons who have borrowed. An ILS usually is co ...
was so new that the term ''mechanisation'' was often used in its place. BLCMP began a co-operative catalogue of bibliographic data at the start of its work, a database that now contains many millions of records. For this an adaptation of UKMARC coding was used. This shared approach to creating metadata is the forefather of later, Internet-based, community ventures such as
IMDb IMDb (an abbreviation of Internet Movie Database) is an online database of information related to films, television series, home videos, video games, and streaming content online – including cast, production crew and personal biographies, ...
, Freebase and others. But this was back in 1969 when shipping this data around involved printing cards and putting boxes on trucks. More libraries became members of BLCMP, e.g. many of the academic libraries of Manchester and
Salford Salford () is a city and the largest settlement in the City of Salford metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. In 2011, Salford had a population of 103,886. It is also the second and only other city in the metropolitan county aft ...
. BLCMP moved into using microfiche and later IBM mainframes with dedicated terminals at libraries in the mid-seventies and was one of the first library automation vendors to provide a
GUI The GUI ( "UI" by itself is still usually pronounced . or ), graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicator such as primary notation, inst ...
on top of
Microsoft Windows Windows is a group of several Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. For example, W ...
to provide a better interface for end-users. The
integrated library system An integrated library system (ILS), also known as a library management system (LMS), is an enterprise resource planning system for a library, used to track items owned, orders made, bills paid, and patrons who have borrowed. An ILS usually is c ...
(ILS) was first called Talis after 'The Automated Library And Information System'. Talis became the name of the company during re-structuring and the ILS became known as Alto. In 1995 Talis was the first library systems vendor to produce a web-enabled public access catalogue. The library of the
University of Sheffield , mottoeng = To discover the causes of things , established = – University of SheffieldPredecessor institutions: – Sheffield Medical School – Firth College – Sheffield Technical School – University College of Sheffield , type = Pu ...
became the 50th customer to choose the Talis library system in 1996. During the first decade of the 3rd millennium, much of Talis's work focused on the transition of information to the web, specifically the Semantic Web, and Talis has led much of the debate about how
Web 2.0 Web 2.0 (also known as participative (or participatory) web and social web) refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability (i.e., compatibility with other products, systems, a ...
attitudes affect traditional libraries. Alongside semantic web developments Talis launched Talis Education Ltd, a business focused on products in Higher Education learning, and Kasabi, a data marketplace. In March 2011 Talis sold its library management division to Capita Group. The division was sold for a reported £18.5 million plus a further £2.5 million depending on the company's profitability in the following financial year. The company moved its headquarters from
Solihull Solihull (, or ) is a market town and the administrative centre of the wider Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in West Midlands County, England. The town had a population of 126,577 at the 2021 Census. Solihull is situated on the River Blyth ...
to central
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
. Following the sale of its library management business Talis experimented with a semantic web and data marketplace business alongside the rapidly establishing education business. A tough economic climate required Talis to focus its investment, therefore they announced in July 2012 that investment in the semantic web and data marketplace areas would cease. All efforts are now concentrated on the education business. Talis Aspire, the company's enterprise teaching and learning platform, is now in use by over 1 million students at 93 universities across 8 countries, including over 65% of all UK universities. Talis was acquired by
SAGE Publications SAGE Publishing, formerly SAGE Publications, is an American independent publishing company founded in 1965 in New York by Sara Miller McCune and now based in Newbury Park, California. It publishes more than 1,000 journals, more than 800 bo ...
in 2018.


See also

*
Copac Copac (originally an acronym of Consortium of Online Public Access Catalogues) was a union catalogue which provided free access to the merged online catalogues of many major research libraries and specialist libraries in the United Kingdom and Ire ...
*
Library 2.0 Library 2.0 is a proposed concept for library services that facilitate user contributions and other features of Web 2.0, which includes online services such as OPAC systems. The concept is based on Radical Trust, and proponents suggest it will ...
*
SUNCAT The Serials Union Catalogue, or SUNCAT, was a freely available source of information about serials holdings in the United Kingdom, for the UK research community. For both electronic and print serials, including academic journals, periodicals, ...


References


Further reading

* Stubley, P. (1988). ''BLCMP: a guide for librarians and systems managers''. Aldershot, Hants, England: Gower. {{ISBN, 978-0-566-05512-6 * Birmingham; Buckle, David, & BLCMP. (1974). ''Birmingham libraries co-operative mechanisation project: research and development programme, January 1969 to March 1975 : a background paper''. * Birmingham Libraries Co-operative Mechanisation Project, & Buckle, D. G. R. (1976). ''Birmingham Libraries Co-operative Mechanisation Project final report''. Birmingham: BLCMP. (David Buckle became the first manager of BLCMP.)


External links


Talis Group Ltd.
company homepage Companies based in Birmingham, West Midlands Semantic Web companies Software companies of the United Kingdom Library automation Library cataloging and classification Library-related organizations Software companies established in 1969 1969 establishments in England Employee-owned companies of the United Kingdom British companies established in 1969 Science and technology in the West Midlands (county)