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March 2002 The Aspect project was set up to create a digital archive of the ephemera - leaflets, flyers, postcards, newsletters - produced by candidates and political parties for the first Scottish parliamentary election in May 1999. The project is funded by the University of Strathclyde's Directorate of Information Strategy The archive is based on the collection of election ephemera held by the Andersonian Library at the University of Strathclyde, which is acknowledged to be an important and unique record of a key event in Scottish history. The creation of a digital archive will significantly improve the accessibility and usability of the information contained within the collection whilst conserving the original materials, which may be subject to deterioration through loss and damage. The archive is one of the collections accessible via the Glasgow Digital Library . As well as digital reproductions of the original materials, Aspect includes transcriptions of the text of many of the leaflets and supplementary information on electoral constituencies and regions, political parties, the electoral process and the results of the election. Scope of the Collection Aspect currently holds over 1200 images of election literature, but coverage is not complete as not every item of election literature is available in digital form. The creators of Aspect are keen to extend coverage wherever possible. Anyone who has copies of or access to any literature from the 1999 Scottish parliamentary election that is not currently held on Aspect is encouraged to get in touch by contacting the GDL team. Within the Aspect collection, materials fall into several categories: The collection is of considerable relevance to a wide range of users, including: The website and its underlying database is designed to support searching and browsing from a wide range of perspectives, reflecting the diversity of the target audience and their information needs. Support for the Project There is strong support for the project from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICE), which has agreed to provide specialist advice and access to supplementary information held in their collections: There is also strong support from teachers and researchers of political science and government, as demonstrated by the results of an email survey of academics involved in setting courses and reading lists for undergraduates in UK higher education. Sixteen out of seventeen Scottish respondents indicated that the materials should be on the syllabus of political science courses, with several indicating that they would incorporate them into their own course materials. Fourteen out of nineteen respondents from England, Wales and Northern Ireland indicated likewise.