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Lessons from ‘Linking Lives’ and ‘WW1 Discovery’ Projects


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Presentation give at ‘Linked Data in Archives, Libraries and Museums – Next Steps’ meeting, Kings College London, 4th December 2012

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  • Thank you Adrian for the insights! Yes, it is not an unified field and the major obstacles are different practices. Those are not to change soon, and I started to believe that only quantity, volume and great numbers will make a switch. I know, I know... do not smile!
    We (Kosson Community), started a new digital collection based on Omeka, and I run into many issues myself with regards to consistencies and data normalisation. Oh, boy! If you wat a peep here you go:
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Lessons from ‘Linking Lives’ and ‘WW1 Discovery’ Projects

  1. 1. Lessons from ‘Linking Lives’and ‘WW1 Discovery’ Projects Adrian Stevenson Senior Technical Innovations Coordinator Mimas, University of Manchester, UK @adrianstevenson
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  4. 4. Martha Beatrice Webb Image WorksLife dates: 1858-1943Epithet: social reformer and Our Partnershiphistorian My ApprenticeshipFamily name: Webb The case for the factory acts Beatrice Webb’s diaries; edited by Margaret Cole The DiaryPlace of birth: Gloucester,EnglandPlace of death: Liphook, KnowsHampshire, England Biographical Notes from: Beatrice Webb letters Beatrice Webb (1858 - 1943). Fabian Socialist, social reformer, writer, historian, diarist. Wife, collaborator and assistant of Sidney Webb, later Lord Passfield. Together they contributed to the radical ideology first of the Liberal Party and later of the Labour Party. from: Beatrice Webb, A summer holiday in Scotland, 1884. Beatrice Webb (1858-1943), nee Potter, social reformer and diarist. Married to Sidney Webb, pioneers of social science. She was involved in many spheres of political and social activity including the Labour Party, Fabianism, social observation, investigations into poverty, development of socialism, the foundation of the National Health Service and post war welfare state, the London School of,_1st_Bar on_Passfield
  5. 5. Some Challenges / Lessons Learnt• Steep learning curve• Difficult data, URI persistence• Linking data not straightforward• Keeping data up to date• How sustainable are the data sources?• Can you track the provenance of data sources?• Are data licensing issues covered?
  6. 6. Hub data inconsistencies• Winston Leonard Churchill• Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill• Churchill, Sir, Winston Leonard Spencer, 1874- 1965, knight, prime minister and historian• Churchill, Winston Leonard, 1874-1965, prime minister• Churchill, Sir Winston, 1874-1965, knight, statesman and historian
  7. 7. Understanding Vocabs & Ontologies
  8. 8. Linking Places
  9. 9. Linking Names Grace Ford, 1896-1941 ‘same as’ Grace Ford?
  10. 10. Thoughts on What Next?• We still need more convincing use / business cases – Clear articulation of what researchers actually gain by bringing diverse data together• We still need more and better tools – But this depends on use cases• Cultural heritage not working together enough – better collaboration on things like name URIs• Coordinated consistent approach for vocabs
  11. 11. 927233355446
  12. 12. WW1 Discovery Project• Exemplar illustrating principles of the JISC Discovery initiative• Discovery about advocating ‘open’ and ‘aggregating’• Make digital content more discoverable by people and machines• Building WW1 aggregation API and discovery layer
  13. 13. WW1 Discovery: How?• Aggregate data from existing APIs – NMM, V&A, Europeana• Help others with example API – BL, MCR Archives, Welsh Voices, LSE• Formats: SOLR, RSS, OpenSearch, OAI- PMH, CSV
  14. 14. Some Challenges• Difficulties merging data – varied content – Relevance ranking dubious• Lack of content – images – geo-data• Content licenses not open• Lack of APIs
  15. 15. Adrian on Linked Data at:
  16. 16. This presentation is available under creativecommons Non Commercial-Share Alike: