Invitation to Tender

Title:  Digital Curator/Producer for First World War Project

Supporting national grants for the arts (libraries fund) project

Deadline for receipt of tender proposals: 11/3/14 @ 5pm


The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) is a local government association made up of the chief librarian of each library authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

SCL takes a leading role in the development of public libraries through sharing best practice, advocating for continuous improvement on behalf of local people and leading the debate on the future of the public library service.

SCL has been awarded funding from the National Lottery supported Grants for the Arts: libraries fund through Arts Council England for a project to enable communities to work with artists to commemorate the First World War.  An outline summary of the project – working title A War Memorial for the Digital Age – is provided in Appendix A of this document.

Section 1:            Specification


Project brief


We are seeking to commission a Digital Curator/Producer to work with us to ensure that the digital content created is of high artistic quality.

There are 10 pathfinder projects. Each of these will work with a different artist.  There is a diverse range of art forms.  We have made a commitment that each project will have a digital dimension.  Some are more experienced than others in digital creation.  The projects are taking place in over 10 locations across the country.  Brief summaries of the pathfinder projects are outlined in Appendix B of this document.  Please note that these are subject to change and are given here as indications of the projects rather than definite plans.

The overall project is, therefore, complex and, in many ways, new territory for public libraries.  We are stimulated by the challenge but recognise that we need support to make our aspirations a reality.

We have already commissioned We Are What We Do (WAWWD) to provide the digital portal.  This will have similar functionality to Historypin  WAWWD will provide technical support on uploading the digital content but will not be responsible for the content itself.  We are seeking a Digital Curator to provide guidance, stimulus and support for the development of the content.

The Digital Curator/Producer will be:

  • Experienced in digital multi-media art forms
  • Able to work with artists in a range of art forms, including music, dance, literature to explore the integration of their work with digital media
  • Committed to raising expectations and aspirations of how digital media can engage participants and audiences
  • A powerful advocate for digital media and able to communicate this to a wide range of people, including those with little or no previous experience or skills in this arena


You are invited to submit a proposal in response to this brief.  We are open to the approach you will take but the proposal must address the following key points:

  • The relevant skills and experience you will bring to this project
  • How you will engage with the 10 pathfinder projects
  • How you can add value to the pathfinder projects and support them to achieve high quality outcomes
  • How you might add high quality content to the website alongside the projects, creating connections and placing the local content in the context of a compelling narrative that has national resonance and impact

In addition, please include the following:

  • A CV that outlines your previous experience and current work
  • A proposed budget for the work, clearly stating the number of days and day rates for each element of the proposal.  If VAT is applicable this needs to be shown separately for all relevant parts of the budget.
  • Contact detail for two people who are willing to provide references.


The successful supplier will need to be able to work with the following stakeholders:

  • Project Board, including Arts Council England and SCL representatives
  • Project Director, who will manage this commission on behalf of the Board
  • Representatives of the 10 pathfinder project library services
  • Artists commissioned for the pathfinder projects


Key dates:

  • This invitation issued 26 February 2014
  • Proposals to be returned by 11 March 2014
  • Interviews with shortlisted candidates either 19 March (afternoon) or 20 March (morning) in central London.
  • Successful candidate will be required to attend the project launch event on 24 March in central London (time and expenses for this will be part of the contract of work)


Project Outline Timetable


Date Activity
March 2014 Digital Curator/Producer appointed
April 2014 Digital Curator/Producer’s work plan agreed and started
May – August 2014 Digital Curator/Producer works with 10 pathfinder projects
August 2014 Pathfinder project digital content go live
August/September 2014 Digital Curator/Producer to add content to connect the pathfinder project content
September 2014 Celebration/showcase event at British Library (date to be confirmed) – Digital Curator/Producer to attend


Duration of contract

The contract to the successful supplier will be awarded from 24 March 2014 to 30 September 2014.


Contract Management

The Digital Curator/Producer will report to the Project Director, who will manage the contract on behalf of the Project Board.


Please note that SCL will not employ people in connection with this contract.  The Digital Curator will be self-employed or a member of an organisation with whom SCL can contract for this work.


The Digital Curator/Producer will be required to provide brief monthly progress reports, an interim report (end June 2014) and a final evaluation report (September 2014).



The budget allocated for this project is £15,000 (excluding VAT)


Payment Structure and billing requirements

Payment will be made in three stages, on completion of key deliverables.

  • Stage 1: Agreed detailed work plan (April 2014)
  • Stage 2: Interim report and revised action plan to complete project (end June 2014)
  • Stage 3: Final report (September 2014)


Evaluation Criteria

The Project Board will assess and shortlist tenders. Overall assessment will be concerned with relevant skills and experience, taking account of the quality and cost of tenderers’ proposals.  The tender will be assessed according to the following criteria and weighting:


Criteria Weighting
Knowledge and experience of high quality digital and multi-media art forms and how these can be integrated creatively with other arts such as drama, music and poetry.

Knowledge and experience of working with the public library or wider cultural sector.





Proposals and outline plans of how to engage with the 10 pathfinder projects.

Experience of working with a wide range of stakeholders and the skills to communicate the overall aims and support the detailed implementation of comparable projects.




Experience of digital curation/production relevant to creating content alongside the individual projects that contextualises and connects them into a compelling narrative that has national resonance and impact  


Value for money 10%
Clarity of proposal, including strength of ideas and avoidance of unnecessary jargon   5%


It is anticipated that an interview and presentation will be required as part of the assessment process.  These will take will place on either 19 March (afternoon) or 20 March (morning in central London.

Appointment of the selected tenderer will be on 21 March.

Section 2: Instructions to tenderers


Proposals must be returned by 11 March 2004 @ 5pm

Please submit your proposal in accordance with all of the instructions, requirements and specifications.

You must treat this document and any further information provided by SCL as confidential at all times and only disclose them if necessary to prepare a compliant quotation.

Nothing in the enclosed documentation or appendices, or any other communication made between SCL and any other party, can be considered a contract or agreement at this stage.

All correspondence in relation to this quotation should be addressed to:

Ciara Eastell, President Elect- Society of Chief Librarians

Head of Libraries, Culture and Heritage, Devon County Council


SCL reserve the right to disqualify or reduce the evaluation score of any prospective supplier who does not fully comply with the requirements in the ITT in particular the closing time and date.

SCL reserve the right to evaluate proposals on a variety of criteria.  The quotation with the lowest price will not automatically be accepted unless stated in our evaluation criteria section.


The approximate value of the proposed work will be up to £15,000 exclusive of VAT. Please note that, whilst not the only criterion, value for money is a key element of our evaluation criteria.  Prices should be fixed and firm for the duration of the contract.

Validity of offer

You must offer your quotation for acceptance for 30 days from the deadline for receipt of quotations.

Please note that by submitting a quotation for consideration you are confirming that, as an officer for the company/organisation that you represent, you have read and understood the ITT document and that your offer to SCL is open for acceptance for 30 days from the quotation closing date.


Invitation to Tender

If we need to amend any information in this ITT document before the closing date, we will write to you with any changes.  If we extend the deadline for receipt of quotations, we will advise you.

SCL reserve the right, in their absolute discretion, to cancel or suspend this ITT process at any time and for any reason.  If we need to do this we will notify you in writing as soon as is reasonably practical.

If you are intending to submit a proposal and want to be contacted with any changes to the ITT process please inform Ciara Eastell so that we have your contact details.

SCL is not responsible, and will not pay for any expenses or losses you incur during, but not limited to, the preparation of your quotation, post-ITT negotiations or interviews.

Information and questions

If you need us to clarify the documentation or if you have further questions regarding the ITT process please contact Ciara Eastell.

We will try to respond to reasonable requests for further information within the timescale of the ITT.

SCL reserves the right to advise all other prospective suppliers included in this ITT of any material questions and the answers supplied without disclosing the source of the enquiry.

Return of Quotation

Please send an electronic copy marked ‘commercial in confidence’ to

All quotations should be received no later than 5pm on 11 March 2014.

SCL is not responsible if all or part of your quotation is not received. You should use a traceable dispatch system. In the event of a dispute, you are responsible to prove the quotation was delivered.


SCL reserves the right to ask you to attend an interview or present your proposals. Interviews, if required, will take place either 19 March (afternoon) or 20 March (morning in central London.

You are responsible for all your expenses when attending such interviews.





A War Memorial for the Digital Age

Overall project summary

Public libraries will facilitate and support a range of projects that enable community groups to work with artists to express their responses to the First World War.  The rich and diverse collections in libraries will be used to stimulate reflection and discussion and provide the starting point for deeper engagement and artistic interpretation.  The local projects will all have a digital dimension in order to bring it to as wide an audience as possible. The digital material generated by the project has the potential to be the basis for a future commission, a national response to this significant centenary.

Public libraries, with their wide and diverse audience reach, are well placed to facilitate a national engagement with the commemoration of the First World War.  There will be many projects and acts of commemoration from 2014 to 2018.  We want to use the special characteristics of the public library network to provide the opportunity for local communities to create their specific response to the anniversary and, at the same time, feel part of a larger act of commemoration and reflection.  This project will lay the foundations for a large-scale commemoration that is both local and national.

Ten pathfinder projects based in a diverse range of places and working with artists, who work in a variety of art forms, will establish the shared framework that can then be used by library services across the country.

The framework for local projects will be based on the following principles:

  • Each community is unique and will approach the commemoration in its own way.  We encourage the diversity of responses and welcome the individual and unique outcomes in each place.
  • Libraries have rich collections of historical and contemporary material that can be used to stimulate discussion and engagement with WW1 and the complexity of responses to it after one hundred years.
  • Libraries will act as facilitators to identify a suitable group of people to engage directly with artists.  In particular we will seek to include people who have not had this kind of experience before.
  • Libraries will act as commissioners, identifying high quality artists and matching them with the specific local project.  We encourage a wide range of art forms for the projects.
  • Artists will work with the local group and support them to develop a creative response to their reflections.
  • Each local project will include an element that is capable of being shared more widely through digital media.

The digital media element of the local projects requires a shared platform; a virtual space where the individual works can be presented to a wider audience.  More than that, the shared platform will provide the opportunity to extend the conversations and stimulate a deeper engagement with the responses to the First World War.

The ten pathfinder projects will test and establish a methodology for the digital sharing and provide guidance for many more local projects to be added to the shared platform in the future.

The cumulative content of the shared platform will be a rich resource in itself.  It also has the potential to be source material for digital media artists to synthesise the individual responses into a new creation that captures both the diversity of local responses and the connecting threads.  This could be the basis of a major commission in the future.

We will commission a Digital Curator/Producer to guide the digital element of the pathfinder projects, and contribute to the framework for further projects.  This role will ensure that the digital dimension is of high quality, appropriate and innovative.

Although digital information and skills are well established in libraries they have not, so far, made the connection to digital arts.  This project is an opportunity for libraries to make that connection, strengthen their own understanding of an evolving and changing art form and to engage their wide user base in the possibilities that it presents.

The role of the Digital Curator/Producer will be to oversee the individual local projects, providing guidance, encouragement and support.  They will be in a unique position to see the connecting threads between projects – initiating collaboration where that is appropriate – and across the projects as a whole.

The project will start in March 2014.  The pathfinder projects will be completed by August 2014 when the digital content will be available online.  A review of the pathfinder projects will take place in September 2014.  This will enable SCL to provide support and encouragement to all other library services in England on how to create and add their own content to the website during the four years of the commemoration.

At this point we will assess the potential for the content to be used as the basis of a new commission to synthesise the local reflections into a national memorial.



Pathfinder Projects – brief summaries

Ten library services will work with local communities and artists to produce contemporary responses to the commemoration of World War One (WW1).  Each pathfinder project has an outline project plan that includes target audience, artists to be involved, aims and outcomes.  Each will have a budget of £11,000 to create their specific work and share the digital dimension through the website.

The projects are wide ranging in terms of art forms, audiences and communities.


Our project will involve a series of workshops followed by a performance of music and dance.  The first phase of workshops will draw on a mix of historical and community resources and will involve young people and other members of the community including people with memory loss and at risk of social isolation.  The creative outputs from the workshops will then inspire a response in music and dance culminating in performances in Cullompton and an accompanying exhibition.

We are working with Devon Arts in Schools Initiative (DAiSI) to draft a brief for artists and a call for expression of interest.   DAiSI have worked with Devon Libraries and the Devon Heritage Centre, most recently on the HLF-funded Newton Abbot Railway Studies project .

The initial workshops held with young people and the community form the creative foundation of this project   Participants will engage with materials, many of which will be specific to their community and explore their responses in spoken or written word, which are then valued and recorded. The stories of people from Devon will be brought to life and made accessible and new stories will be uncovered and created.  People from the community will engage with digital content and have an opportunity to record some of their own work and responses.  In addition an artist will make digital documentation of the workshops and performances. Music and dance workshops for young people will encourage the exploration of the stories and responses and will result in the creation of a performance piece.


Our project will be a partnership with In-Situ, a new dynamic arts company based within Brierfield Library to shape and determine a project of arts engagement with local young people around WW1 in four areas of Pennine Lancashire.

The proposed activity will be designed and driven by the young people involved in the project so cannot be specified at the present time.  Young people taking part in the project will work with arts organisation In-Situ to shape the project and select the specific artists with whom they will be working.  They will develop the brief for the artist, and this process will involve them in looking at a range of art forms.  Any artist chosen through this approach will be expected to have considerable experience in working in a participatory way with young people.

Although the project will mainly involve young people who are NEET, it will also engage older people as part of the process, creating inter-generational activity

Library staff will develop skills relating to engagement with young people; commissioning artist and procurement skills; partnership building and sustaining relationships; understanding of funding sources and how to develop funding bids; marketing and communication.


Our project will be a built around a scrapbook put together by the Matron of Gledhow Hall hospital during the First World War and includes photographs, letters, newscuttings and cards.  Activities at Gledhow focused on the rehabilitation of the soldiers post trauma and injury. These activities included poetry, needlecraft, photography, sports activities, concerts and drama performances. The scrapbook also contains newspaper articles chronicling the politics of the times regarding the role of women and the narrative of both the war and its impact on the home front.

The scrapbook will be digitised and used in workshops with a digital artist to produce a creative contemporary response to it in the form of a new digital scrapbook that can be shown on an interactive screen, demonstrating the progression from the original physical scrapbook to the digital version touching on the idea that scrapbooks are no longer produced as they were.

The lead artist will be Shanaz Gulzar, a digital and installation artist and stage designer.  Her work explores interactions between new technologies, film, theatre, place and identity and includes work for The Live Theatre, Bradford International Film Festival and BBC Screens.

We will also be working with Studio 12, an audio visual media project for young people, providing access to a production studio, training, accredited qualifications and an Industry Panel of creative professionals working in design, music, video and media arts.

London Borough of Brent

Our project will focus on the impact of WW1 on local people, day by day. We will use contemporary local newspapers as a stimulus for creative responses. We will work with local residents, secondary school children, local writers and artists. We intend to digitise local newspapers and any personal correspondence/diaries from the period and issue a weekly bulletin via social media (Facebook and Twitter) from the anniversary of the beginning of the war, focusing on how the war affected everyday life.

Commissioned artists will run workshops with aspiring writers and illustrators in the borough to create an illustrated response to the local newspapers from WW1.  These responses will be used digitally on the digital war memorial website, as exhibition material to be displayed across the borough and potentially as published works that can be displayed and possibly on loan in libraries.

We want participants to develop their creative skills while acquiring a deeper, personal understanding of the impact of the war. In this way we hope to build the creative capacity in Brent and support people into possible career choices or employment.

Newcastle – Upon – Tyne

Our project will engage with people in the west of Newcastle to create an artwork that depicts WW1 in battle and on the home front and remembers the contribution and sacrifice made within the local community.

Following a selection process we have appointed artist Tommy Anderson who has worked with young people in the area on several projects, including the Newcastle and Gateshead Young Offending teams and Helix Arts .He has also recently worked as an artist in residence at the Durham Light Infantry Museum and lived in the west end so the City for 10 years so has a good understanding of the community, its strengths and challenges.

The project will adopt two art forms, photomontage and typography as well as involving a creative writer. The activities will create artwork described above which will be exhibited locally and in the City Library and a legacy document will tell the story of the project and illustrate the participants’ experiences.

The activity will bring groups of people together who would not normally meet, it will encourage them to develop new relationships and facilitate better understanding of their neighbour’s culture, behaviour, concerns and beliefs. The activities have a strong local connection with the streets, buildings, industries and housing of the area and will be relevant to participants because that is where they live, where they shop, socialise and raise their families. It will strengthen existing connections and create new ones


Our project will involve two groups of young people – one group from Great Yarmouth and one from Norwich telling digital stories around the impact that the First World War had in those locations. Using photographs taken during World War 1 and other library resources as their inspiration, project participants will work with digital artists to explore the stories behind the photographs, retelling stories about Norfolk’s First World War for a modern audience. The project aims to engender a sense of civic pride, so that the project participants feel proud of where they come from and of the people who lived here in the past. At the project end, we will have two creative and enjoyable digital story pieces which are very location specific. These will contribute to a larger, nationwide project. We will have helped ten young people through their Arts Award.

We plan to work with Matthew Harrison, a creative artist in Great Yarmouth. He has made films and animations with the NLIS in the past. In Norwich, subject to negotiation, we will be working with Pete Harmer. Both creative artists will be working alongside our Community Development workers as well as the groups of young people. The participants will enjoy a creative experience which will inspire them to pursue some element of the project further – be it research or an interest in pursuing a career or training in a media related subject.

The project will culminate with events both in Norwich and Great Yarmouth, together with exhibitions in two locations telling the story of the project and showing the film. We will also make the films available in other World War 1 commemoration activities in Norfolk in 2014 and onwards.

North Tyneside

Two facilitators from Bigfoot Drama will work with a group of 20 children from Christ Church Primary School, North Shields to explore what life was like in their area during WWI. Using primary materials held by Discover North Tyneside, including photographs and digitised newspapers, primary aged children will explore what life was like in their area during WW1..  The aim of the project will be to create a three-minute video consisting of short scenes acted out by the children with a soundtrack. There will be an official showing of the film in the library for invited guests and children will also perform some scenes and help to host the event.  A second performance will be open to the community to see the outcomes of the project.

Bigfoot have delivered a drama based projects within North Tyneside along with Extended Schools Services through the ‘Big Readers’ and ‘Big Authors’ projects.

The children who take part in the drama aspect are being given the opportunity to work with a professional drama facilitators, filmmakers and song writers; which they may not usually have access to through either school or outside of school.  Members of the public will be able to see the performance of the film and some of the scenes being acted out within North Shields library.  There is not a theatre or cinema within North Shields and people would usually have to travel to see any kind of performance.


Our project will be an intergenerational activity that will produce commissioned street art about World War 1.  We will work with: secondary school children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds; veterans – particularly from the Lancashire Veterans Association; and local street artists

There are a number of street artists that work in the Rochdale area.  One artist that we have worked with previously is Liam Dean. His work is excellent and of high quality – we would want Liam to be part of the project. The commissioned artists will be involved from the start of the project, so they can appreciate the ethos of what we want to achieve. They will work closely both with the young people and veterans to elicit their ideas of World War One and the images provoked.  The young people and veterans will be invited to take part in the drafting of the art work.  The final production will be by the artists to ensure the work is of high quality. The project will be filmed by a local film group, Rochdale Moviemakers to create an inspirational film of the project which can be uploaded to the Web.

Participants will be inspired by working with the street artists and the film makers.  There will be opportunities to work alongside them as well as witnessing the creation of high quality art.  It will be a learning experience for all participants, inspiring them to engage with arts and consider all themes relating to World War 1. The street art will be reproduced and printed on hoardings in various places in the borough of Rochdale for example hoardings where building work is taking place.  This will reach the majority of people living in the borough plus visitors


Our Mobilising the Home Front project will seek to bring community groups together in libraries to be enthused by and inspired to work on a complete and bespoke artistic project that will demonstrate themes of particular challenge on the Home Front, 1914-18, and draw contemporary relevance around these themes. Local knowledge and research will form the initial learning and inspiration, and artists will use this with their participants to develop the work.

Three library locations will be used to work on and record each aspect of the project. We intend two aspects to be recordings of performance related work, and one aspect to result in an installation in a library. The three aspects to be explored are:

  • Agriculture – how could enough food be produced with so many men away fighting?
  • Women in munitions factories – everyday life, rather than work – how they were treated, how they kept themselves entertained.
  • Aliens – the experience of being in Staffordshire as a foreigner – refugee, POW, military training.

We have had initial discussions with The New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Craftspace and Carruthers and Cresswell.  These-regionally based artists are interested in the project.

Artists will use a performance medium to explore Home Front stories, relating them to the specific locality, and linking them to contemporary experience. From group work, the performance narrative will be developed, and the artists will help participants shape that narrative and develop its presentation.

Stockton-on –Tees

Our project will reflect the experiences of people affected by the war through music, poetry and song in a filmed public performance.  We will work with local history groups and new audiences to research the impact of the First World War on the local area and its people. They will explore library resources and use the experience of our Museum and local archives to unearth stories relevant to the Borough.  The best of these stories will be developed to produce poetry pieces, songs and music which will form the centrepiece of a public performance at Stockton Central Library. The content of the final performance will be decided by the community groups and participants to ensure a sense of ownership and development.

Local Musician and Artist, Mike McGrother will facilitate the project.  Mike heads up the locally acclaimed band, The Wildcats of Kilkenny and recently worked as the Council’s cultural ambassador. Using the information and stories uncovered by our researches, Stockton’ finest bands and singer songwriters will collaborate with the male voice choir Infant Hercules and North Skelton Brass Band to create poetry, songs and prose based on the stories that will be woven into the public performances.