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Elag2015 ivory tower

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AHRC project, Exploring British Design: The Archives Hub and Brighton Design Archives worked together on a project to explore new ways to integrate archive catalogues into an entity based model.

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Elag2015 ivory tower

  1. 1. Exploring British Design From IvoryTower to People Power11/06/2015 To add a background image to this slide; drag a picture to the placeholder below, or click the icon in the centre of the placeholder to browse for and add an image. Once added, the image can be cropped, resized or repositioned to suit. Jane Stevenson, Jisc Pete Johnston, Jisc Tom Hart, Jisc Catherine Moriarty, Brighton Design Archives Anna Kisby Compton, Brighton Design Archives
  2. 2. Exploring British Design »AHRC: “DigitalTransformations aims to exploit the potential of digital technologies to transform research in the arts and humanities” »Archives Hub: aggregator of archive descriptions »Brighton Design Archives, the University of Brighton 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 2
  3. 3. Project Aims » Exploring Britain's design history by involving information professionals, historians and researchers » Moving away from traditional collection-level archival descriptions towards more inter-connectivity » Enabling researchers to explore and connect people, subjects, and events. » Using the XML standard, EncodedArchival Context - Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families (EAC-CPF) » Creating high-quality bespoke name authority records for British designers and making these openly available for further utilisation 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 3
  4. 4. The IvoryTower Or “Ignorance is Bliss” 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 4
  5. 5. People Power Or, “Once you introduce people, things are a lot more complicated” 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 5 Flickr: nolnet, https://www.flickr.com/photos/nolnet/5502831713/
  6. 6. Student workshops »We asked focus groups of postgraduate students: › How do you research? »We gave them an event, person or building to think about and asked them to chart their research paths 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 6
  7. 7. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 7
  8. 8. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 8
  9. 9. Research Paths: results » Google is the most common starting point » There is often a strong visual emphasis to research » It is common to utilise the references listed in Wikipedia » The library is one part of a diverse landscape; library searches can produce ‘meaningless results’ (too many results; relevance not clear) » Online research: immediacy but issues of trust, results may not be very specific, obscure sources may be hidden » Personal habits and past experience play a large part » Research (i) means to an end (ii) an important (enjoyable!) process » Serendipity is valued – browsing the library shelves is a good example 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 9
  10. 10. Student workshops »We asked a group of postgraduate students: › Think about websites and what you like and dislike about them »We showed them some sites and discussed them 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 10
  11. 11. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 11
  12. 12. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 12 http://va.goodformandspectacle.com/
  13. 13. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 13
  14. 14. Student workshops »Students did not like sites that seemed patronising »They liked the ‘explore’ features »They talked about discovery beyond what the site appeared to provide »They tended to ask about whether they could search for ‘x’ or ‘y’ – something relevant to their own particular research interests, e.g. gender studies 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 14 http://blog.archiveshub.ac.uk/category/exploring-british-design/
  15. 15. Documenting Archives »An archive is described through a collection description »One archive = one document describing the archive 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 15
  16. 16. From search box… 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 16
  17. 17. 11/06/2015 17 Collection Person Place Organis ation Image Collection Person Place Organis ation Image Collection Person Place Organis ation Image Search:
  18. 18. Collection 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 18 Collection Person Organis ation …to search result From A to B, From B to C, And then from C you get to D. But this does not enable you To get to C from A or Q CollectionPerson Person A B C Place Collection Person Person Event Date Q Occup ation ? ?
  19. 19. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 19 Person Collectio n Person Collectio n Collection Person Place Organis ation Image
  20. 20. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 20 Person Collectio n Collectio n
  21. 21. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 21 Person Person Person Person Org Org Collectio n Collectio n
  22. 22. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 22 http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/
  23. 23. 11/06/2015 23http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/ark:/99166/w66m35nm
  24. 24. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 24
  25. 25. Exploring British Design Or, “Beating a Path through the Dense Dark Undergrowth is HardWork” 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 25
  26. 26. Any thing can be a focus for a user/application »Archival materials »Persons, organisations »Places »Events »Relations »Objects
  27. 27. AgentBiography Event Time Period Chronology Place Thing Relationship Archival Resource “Thing” Bibliographic Resource (Object, Artwork, Design) Agent Relationship
  28. 28. Data sources »Bringing together data from different sources › Archives Hub data › Hand crafted data created for the project – chronologies – relationships – relationship type › Hard to create this data any other way › Looked at other sources (Design Museum) 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 28
  29. 29. EAC-CPF »EAC-CPF – XML format for organisations/persons/families »Data went beyond what is supported by EAC-CPF › images linked to agents (people) and events › ‘see also’ »Formats can provide rigour but they can constrain »EAC-CPF essentially for data sharing – provide export 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 29
  30. 30. Tools »We didn’t find suitable robust tools for data creation »xEAC – good functionality (VIAF lookup) but glitches › didn’t seem to support whole EAC standard › couldn’t go beyond EAC limitations »Variations in our data were always likely to challenge available tools »“tidy datasets are all alike but every messy dataset is messy in its own way" 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 30
  31. 31. Entities and Events »Go beyond ‘find records to match x query’ »Focus was on person, organisation & events › matches through various criteria »We do not have standards where events are foregrounded »EAC-CPF treats events as secondary 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 31
  32. 32. Archives Hub SNAC Partial EAC XML EAC XML Search/Get Create/Edit CSV Google Sheets EACfrom HubO.py Search/Extract
  33. 33. Partial EAC XML RDF RDF Geo data Convert Store CSV Application(s) Full EAC API
  34. 34. Observations » Lack of tools » Data variations and inconsistencies › Tools are looking for consistency – i.e. is this person the same as that person, if so I can link them › Hand-crafted means rich data but hard to ensure consistency › Archives Hub data is full of variations » Responsive development requires flexibilty and it isn’t easy! » So many decisions about data structures - what’s in, what’s out » Not enough resource…. 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 34
  35. 35. Observations »Could we have done it differently? › Maybe a different set of technologies, e.g. take time to learn about elastic search › Maybe prioritising things differently – easy to say in hindsight »Too many ideas can be a dangerous thing! 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 35
  36. 36. Expanding Our Focus » Record = about one person/organisation? » No! In reality it is about many people, organisations, places and events » Small scale but multiple connections meant our approach was strained (x80 people = 800 entities) › e.g. If Maxwell Fry went to X art school then we have information about that art school, even if its just that he attended it (but as it is a focus, we can add more connections) » A record focus is a narrow focus; it does not bring to the fore all these different entities 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 36
  37. 37. Exploring British Design ….Website coming soon 11/06/2015 Title of presentation (Go to ‘View’ menu > ‘Header and Footer…’ to edit the footers on this slide) 37 Thank you.

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