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What is Scran?

The Scran Trust aims to provide educational access to digital materials representing our material culture and history. This is provided through the wholly owned trading arm Scran Ltd. We are one of the largest educational online services in the UK supporting over 4,000 schools, libraries, colleges and universities.

We work in partnership with over 300 cultural institutions in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Deposit details. A number of institutions use our online solution - Scran-in-a-Box - to provide access to their own data.

The learning resource service hosts 390,000 images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media. It can be used as a superior form of clip art or for particular learning applications.

Images of tigers, Charlie Chaplin, Sean Connery, a Degas, a Dali, images of war or whaling, standing stones, a pint of beer, an integrated circuit, or line drawings of an acorn or an adrenal gland demonstrate the range.

For learning, there are Pathfinders for instant use; and tools such as Curriculum Navigator, Albums, Stuff, Create, Multicreate, Offline Slieshow and Slides to let you discover, store, design, assemble and share your own learning resources.

A quick poster or worksheet is just a couple of clicks from any image and instant slides or a mini website are equally easy to produce from an Album.

Background 

Scran was conceived in 1995 and The Scran Trust - a registered charity - was formed shortly after. Its founding partners were The National Museums Scotland, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, The Scottish Museums Council and, by invitation, the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum.

In its first five years, it engaged in a wide ranging scheme of grant awards which allowed cultural organisations to digitise parts of their collections to be made available for educational purposes. This was Millennium Commission funded through the UK Lottery. It developed an advanced licensing system which was commended by many in which the institution retained ownership of the digitised assets but made these available under licence to Scran. There followed further large grant aid partner projects with NOF Digitise funding through the National Library of Scotland.

Scran is funded through grant aid from the Scottish Government, subscriptions and sales of services.

Recent Additions

Most Recently, Scran has just added excellent local collections from Rotherham Archives and a cornucopia on transport from the Scottish Transport Museum Trust.  Nationally, recent additions include the V&A and the British Museum.  In total, Scran has worked with over 300 partners and that partnership of Museums, Galleries, Archives, the Media and Private Collectors has created what we are today.

Awards

  • Silver MUSE from the American Association of Museums (AAM), 'In recognition of the Highest Standards of Excellence in the use of Media and Technology…'.
  • The ‘Jason Farradane’ award of the Institute of Information Scientists as "an outstanding piece of work in the Information Field".
  • Listed as one of the top ten NGfL sites in the BECTa/Guardian Awards
  • Listed as one of the Top Ten Online Museums in the world by The Guardian newspaper.
  • Scottish Museum of the Year award for multimedia
  • British Archaeological Society / Channel 4 award for multimedia

Technical Details

The service hosts 370,000 resources with educational materials on top of that and peak serves 1.1 Million hits per day  [Feb. 2009].

Scran utilises open source software and runs on a cluster server configuration with MySQL and PHP under Linux.  The searchable database is over 1.5Gb and total storage including all assets is over 4Tb. Sixty additional websites are hosted as linked services.

The whole system developed by Scran including ScranBase and all the tools like Create and Albums has just been made available for others to use as Scran-in-a Box. The National Museums Scotland, the National Burns Collection, the William Wallace Website, The Virtual Hamilton Palace Trust and Robert Gordon's University use "Scran-in-a-Box" solutions.

Registrations

The Scran Trust is charity No. SCO24961 and a company limited by guarantee No. SC166833;  Scran Ltd trades as RCAHMS Enterprises and is a wholly owned trading subsidiary of the Scran Trust with company No.SC163518.  All registrations are in Scotland. Registered Office: 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX. Group VAT No: 682772107. Scran and the Logo are registered trademarks. 

Copyright and Rights

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