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Tuesday, August 18 • 11:00am - 11:30am
Research Forum Session 4: Innovations in Description - Transformation and Enrichment: Activating Archival Descriptions as Linked Data

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Descriptions of archival resources can often be a rich source of names for different kinds of entities: people, organizations, places, concepts, events, and works. In many cases, those names can only be represented in the description by a string of characters. At OCLC Research we’re enriching the descriptive metadata we aggregate in various ways. A focal point of this enrichment work involves relating strings to standard identifiers for the things they represent in the real-world. Those enrichments make it possible to re-organize the data to fulfill the promise of Linked Data, bringing like things together and showing their relationships. Archival metadata poses some special challenges, in that it can include many “uncontrolled” headings lacking standard identifiers. We will demonstrate experimental systems from OCLC Research that are helping us better understand the extent of these challenges and that suggest ways to resolve strings to things, with implications for how archival descriptive practices are carried out and for how aggregations of descriptions from various sources can make their enrichment processes and outputs available to archivists, catalogers, researchers, and system developers. Additionally, we will share experimental utilities that can be used to intuitively navigate a graph of data, allowing people to enter the graph through a recognized entity and then expand their search through exploration of related people, places, events, organizations and concepts. The current corpus of OCLC’s ArchiveGrid dataset will be used for the demonstration.

About the Authors:

Jeffrey K. Mixter is a recent graduate of Kent State University, having earned an M.L.I.S. (Masters of Library and Information Science) and an M.S. degree in Information Architectureand Knowledge Management. His master’s thesis demonstrated how to convert an existing flat data model into a detailed ontology that is interoperable with search engine aggregating services. As a Research Assistant at OCLC, Jeff worked with Dr. Ed O’Neill in developing the OCLC FAST controlled vocabulary. He is now working as a Software Engineer at OCLC with collaborators from Montana State University on the IMLS-funded project ‘Measuring Up: Assessing Accuracy of Reported Use and Impact of Digital Repositories.’ Kenning Arlitsch, Dean of Libraries at Montana State, is the principal investigator. Jeff’s role in the project is to serve as a data modeling expert, taking the lead in the development of an ontology for modeling items found in institutional repositories and digital collections in a form that can be discovered and indexed by Google and other major search engines. Jeff also currently teaches at Kent State University as an adjunct professor for the School of Library Information Science.

Bruce Washburn is a Consulting Software Engineer in OCLC Research. He provides software development support for OCLC Research initiatives and participates as a contributing team member on selected research projects. In addition, he provides software development support for selected OCLC Products and Services. Bruce reports to James Michalko, Vice President, OCLC Research, San Mateo. Prior to OCLC Washburn worked in a variety of roles for the Research Libraries Group (RLG), most recently as manager of its Information Architecture team. Before RLG, Washburn worked in the cataloging department of Stanford University Libraries. At OCLC Washburn has been a part of the product teams that developed and maintain CAMIO, ArchiveGrid, the WorldCat Search API, and OAIster. For OCLC Research, he is working on the Analyzing Archival Descriptive Practice and Museum Data Exchange projects. 



Tuesday August 18, 2015 11:00am - 11:30am
Room 26A Cleveland Convention Center, 300 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114

Attendees (20)