Designing for Information Objects in LAM (Libraries, Archives, Museums)


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Presented by Duane Degler & Neal B. Johnson at EdUI 2013, Richmond, VA, USA. 5-Nov-2013.

Museums, libraries and archives hold physical objects that people interact with every day. Their mission includes managing these objects in trust for use by future generations. Digital Humanities adds an important dimension of responsibility. Just as there is a physical object, there is an “Information Object” that people use, and authoritative institutions curate that information for now and the future. This talk is about designing the Information Object, and the role of shareable, structured information.

One unique aspect of the Information Object is that it is not a single thing. It is a jigsaw puzzle which, when completed, represents physical objects. The institution becomes a gateway to an ecosystem of scholarly insights, history, perspectives, and related objects that complete the picture. Curating the information may be perceived as a burden (which we need to make easier!), but it is also a significant opportunity to reinforce the value and authority of institutions that enhance the information ecosystem.

What is the designer’s role? Project teams need a vision to see clearly how it is possible to weave rich, structured data into current sites and applications. Designers bridge the worlds of technologists and curators/archivists/educators. But to do so effectively, designers need to understand what is possible and make it an active part of their design thinking.

We believe passionately that the Information Object is important. Our projects increasingly have a strong emphasis on linked data and semantic web structured metadata. In the now, we are able to improve the search and browse experience, and also serve different types of web users more effectively - from casual viewers to scholars/students to preservationists. For the future, we help establish foundations for information relationships that help the ecosystem grow and preserves the overall Information Object.

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Designing for Information Objects in LAM (Libraries, Archives, Museums)

  1. 1. Designing  for     Informa.on  Objects     The  Library,  Archive  &  Museum  (LAM)     Informa:on  Ecosystem  for  Now  and  for  the  Future   EDUI  2013   5th  November  2013,  Richmond,  VA             Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art   Neal  B.  Johnson     n-­‐   Duane  Degler  
  2. 2. Informa.on  object   The  aggregate  set  of  informa6on  in  the   ins6tu6on  that  illustrates,  describes,   interprets,  or  references  a  physical  object   •  •  •  Digital  images   Descrip6ve  &  structural  metadata   Interpre6ve  material  (finding  aid,   monograph,  annotated  bibliography)   Images   Structured  Data   Physical  object   A  thing  held  in  trust  by     an  ins6tu6on   •  Work  of  art,  book,  ar6fact,   archival  record   Narra6ve  Descrip6on   Provenance   Interpre6ve  Informa6on 2   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  3. 3. Informa.on  Object  richness   Informa6on  Objects  can…   n  Aggregate  around  the  physical  object   to  provide  meaningful  context   n  Provide  an  experience  that  can  be   independent  of  the  physical  object   Images   Structured  Data   Narra6ve  Descrip6on   Provenance   Interpre6ve  Informa6on   3   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  4. 4. Why  “Now”  and  “Future”  ?   •  LAMs  hold  the  physical  object  and  key  informa6on  objects     in  trust  for  society  .  .  .  in  perpetuity     •  Future  will  bring  inevitable  and  o_en  unpredictable  changes     in  both  informa6on  and  interpreta6ons     •  We  don’t  know  to  what  uses  something  will  be  put  .  .  .   We  only  know  it  is  significant,  and  must  be  available   4   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  5. 5. The  value  of  Linked  Open  Data   Subject   Predicate   Object   played   painted 5   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  6. 6. LAM  Informa.on  Ecosystem   Cultural  Ins.tu.ons   Holding  or  Art  Objects   Cultural  Educa.on  &  scholarship   Search  &  Aggrega.on   Federated  access  to  DH  informa.on isbn=9780300074512 arts-theatre-culture/western-art/golden-age-dutchpainting-historical-perspective File:Slag_bij_Nieuwpoort.jpg 6   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Vocabulary   Standardized  discovery   Historical  &  Social  Sites   Access  to  broader  contexts   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  7. 7. LAM  Informa6on  Ecosystem     The  Essen6al  Aspects  of  LAM   7   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  8. 8. LAM  mission   •  Collect   •  Preserve   •  Provide  Access  (promote  discovery)   •  Review,  borrow,  exhibit   •  Describe/Interpret  (provide  context)   •  Metadata  catalogues   •  Finding  aids   •  Annotated  Bibliographies   •  Monographs,  exhibi6on  catalogues,  wall  labels,  conserva6on  reports,   imaging,  biographies,  etc.   •  Relate  like  things  to  one  another   8   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  9. 9. LAM  informa.on  cura.on   <term4>   <term2>   Images   <term3>   Indexing   Interpre:ve  Texts   <term1>   <term2>   Conserva.on   Exam  Report   <.tle>   Descrip:ve  Metadata <ar.stName>      Physical   Object   Acquisi:on   9  Bio,   Essay   Conserva.on   Treatment   Report   <.tle2>   <medium>    Physical   Object   Restora:on   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Essay  v2.0   Essay  v5.0   <ar.stName2>   <medium2>    Physical   Object   ReaFribu:on   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  10. 10. LAM  shared  user  requirements   •  Serendipity   •  Discover  relevant  informa6on  objects  (have  that  serendipitous,  “A-­‐ha!”  moment)     through  search/browse   •  Extend  use     •  Take  away  informa6on  objects  relevant  to  my  interest   •  Conveniently  re-­‐use  informa6on  in  my  own  work  products   •  Persistence     •  Conveniently  link/reference  my  work  and  source  informa6on  objects   •  Trust  that  informa6on  objects  to  which  I  link/reference  will  remain  available     •  Sustainability   •  Flexibility  in  design  and  data  modeling  to  adapt  to  future  capabili6es  and  topics     •  Scalability   •  Comfortably  adapt  to  ever-­‐growing  collec6ons  and  different  working  styles  across   ins6tu6ons   10   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  11. 11. The  Holding  Ins6tu6on     Presen6ng  the  Informa6on  Object   11   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  12. 12.  solu.ons   We  have  had  the  opportunity  to  design  two  suppor6ng  systems     •  Dutch  17th  Century  Pain.ngs  Online  Scholarly  Catalogue   •  Public-­‐facing  resource  –  art  historians  as  primary  users   •  Geiy  Founda6on-­‐funded  project   •  Consor6um  of  nine  ins6tu6ons  each  scoping/solving  the  problem     in  their  own  way     •  Conserva.onSpace   •  Internal  system  with  poten6al  for  external  use  –  conservators  as  users   •  Mellon  Founda6on-­‐funded  project   •  Consor6um  of  seven  ins6tu6ons   12   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  13. 13. OSCI:  It  begins  with  the  public  web  page  of  a  work  of  art   13   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  14. 14. The  basic  public  Informa.on  Object   DAM   Data   Caretaker   Image   Structured  Data   Metadata   store   tombstone   Narra6ve  Descrip6on   Provenance   Curator   Provenance   14   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  15. 15. Incorporate  Systema.c  Catalog  content   Goals   •  Integrate  with  online  art  object  collec6on  record   •  Each  object  is  part  of  a  collec6on   •  Support  scholarly  use  alongside  general  public  use  of  the  Informa6on  Object   •  Insure  it  scales  as  different  collec6ons  are  added   Flexible  modes  for  viewing  informa6on  objects  in  context   •  Scalable  panes   •  Deeper  reading  mode   •  Informa6on  object  selec6on/compare   15   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  16. 16. EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Online  Edi.on  of  the  Systema.c  Catalogue    (SysCat)   16   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  17. 17. Lightweight   catalogue   “container”  &   targeted  search   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Integrate  with  online  Informa.on  Object   17   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  18. 18. Focus:  Flexibility  in  informa.on  presenta.on   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Deeper   reading   mode   18   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  19. 19. Available  in-­‐ line  or   alongside   text,  to  suit   the  user   In-­‐context   access  to   references   and  notes   19   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Convenience:  informa.on  availability  
  20. 20. Comparing  mul6ple   images,  including   reference  images   and  analysis  images   20   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   User  control:  Analyzing  available  informa.on  
  21. 21. The  public  and  scholarly  Informa.on  Object   Controlled   vocabulary   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   Data   Caretaker   DAM   Images   Metadata   store   Structured  Data   Narra6ve  Descrip6on   Provenance   Interpre6ve  Informa6on   Curator   Provenance   Historic   references   21   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  22. 22. The  Holding  Ins6tu6on     Elabora6ng  the  Informa6on  Object   22   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  23. 23. Conserva.on  informa.on   Controlled   vocabulary   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   •  -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   Data   Caretaker   Conservator   DAM   Images   Metadata   store   Structured  Data   Lab  notes  /   Reports   Narra6ve  Descrip6on   Provenance  /  History   Interpre6ve  Informa6on   Curator   Provenance   Historic   references   23   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  24. 24. Conserva.onSpace   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Conserva6on  Task   collects  associated   informa6on  objects   24   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  25. 25. Conserva.onSpace   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Cultural  informa6on   object  presented  in   context  of   conserva6on-­‐related   informa6on   25   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  26. 26. Conserva6on  “treatment   report”  informa6on  allowing   user-­‐controlled  templates     and  re-­‐use  of  exis6ng  data   26   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Conserva.onSpace  
  27. 27. The  Holding  Ins6tu6on     Persis6ng  the  Informa6on  Object   27   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  28. 28. Auto-­‐generated   cita6on  URL   includes  version   Other  ac6ons  (share,  favorite   or  print)  capture  the  general,   most  current  URL   28   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Precision:  Specific  versions  referenced  
  29. 29. Precision:  Specific  points  of  reference   •  Tracking  specific  versions  of  descrip6ve/interpre6ve   informa6on  is  cri6cal  to  sustaining  integrity  and  trust     •  Permalinks  provide  resilience   Ver  2007   Ver  1989   Ver  1963   Images   Structured  Data   Narra6ve  Descrip6on   Provenance   Interpre6ve  Informa6on   Art  Historian   <hFp://museum/object/version>   29   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  30. 30. Accessing  versions   EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Permalink  in  cita6on  (as  found   in  3rd  party  reference)  opens   older  version  of  the  SysCat   informa6on  object   Older  or  newer   versions  of  the   informa6on   object  are  easily   available   30   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  31. 31. The  LAM  Informa6on  Ecosystem     Rela6ng  to  the  Informa6on  Object   31   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  32. 32. EXAMPLE  ONLY:  Design  wireframes   Capture  and  use  assets  in  other  work  products   32   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  33. 33. External,  linked  material  extends  the  Informa.on  Object   Commercial   deriva.ves   New  work   found   Reinterpret   artwork   New   images   Ver  2007   Ver  1989   Ver  1923   Images   Structured  Data   Narra6ve  Descrip6on   Provenance   Interpre6ve  Informa6on   Elabora.on   ar.cle   Historical   analysis   Updated   vocabulary   afribu.on   Holding  Ins6tu6on        External  par6es   33   Design  for  Informa6on  Object:  Now  and  Future  |  edUi  |  November  5,  2013  |  ©  Degler,  Johnson   Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art  
  34. 34. Designing  for     Informa.on  Objects     The  Library,  Archive  &  Museum  (LAM)  Informa:on  Ecosystem   for  Now  and  for  the  Future   EDUI  2013   5th  November  2013,  Richmond,  VA             Na6onal  Gallery  of  Art   Neal  B.  Johnson     n-­‐   Duane  Degler