Archive

Archive for May, 2012

The problem we are addressing and why

Recognition of the potential uses of Linked Data has been comparatively slow within the archive sector, although this has changed in recent years, following a number of successful projects, such as LOCAH, SALDA, and Linking Lives, which have shown the opportunities that are available. However, there remain certain obstacles that may prevent institutions from beginning to use Linked Data as a way of increasing accessibility to their catalogues.

One obstacle has been the lack of means by which archivists can convert existing catalogue data into Linked Data, or indeed create Linked Data as part of the cataloguing process. This issue was initially addressed during the Open Metadata Pathway project, through the development of a workflow tool that should enable archivists to create Linked Data at the same time as cataloguing. The workflow tool is currently being refined as part of the Step change project; one of the objectives of the Trenches to Triples project is to provide a demonstration of this workflow tool in use.  As was stated in the previous post, RDFa data will be created both from World War One related entries in the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives’ military catalogues, and from entries found in one of its legacy catalogues. The Trenches to Triples project is therefore supplementary to Step change: Step change aims to provide Linked Data architecture for the archive sector, while Trenches to Triples hopes to be an exemplar of how this architecture can be used effectively.

Trenches to Triples also aims to address another problem, which is that any institution wishing to embark on a similar project is likely to be put off from doing so by the lack of an existing precedent: an example by which to base estimations of time, cost, appropriate scale etc. By creating a toolkit, the Triples project will provide the necessary guidance for future projects. The toolkit will draw on lessons learned during the project in order to give guidelines regarding workload, time, cost, technical requirements, and potential pitfalls. It is hoped that if these problems are successfully addressed, then there should be nothing to discourage other institutions from using Linked Data to enhance their catalogues.  

Advertisements