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Collections and collection-level description CIMI Members’ meeting, Boston, MA, USA 22-23 April 2002 Pete Johnston UKOLN, University of Bath Bath, BA2.

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Presentation on theme: "Collections and collection-level description CIMI Members’ meeting, Boston, MA, USA 22-23 April 2002 Pete Johnston UKOLN, University of Bath Bath, BA2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collections and collection-level description CIMI Members’ meeting, Boston, MA, USA April 2002 Pete Johnston UKOLN, University of Bath Bath, BA2 7AY UKOLN is supported by: URL

2 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Collections and collection-level description Collections, collection description & collection-level description CLD at UKOLN –RSLP CD project –Collection Description Focus CIMI/CD Focus survey What next?

3 Collections, collection description and collection-level description

4 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April What is a collection? Collection –“an aggregation of physical and/or digital items” Aggregates of, e.g. –natural objects: fossils, mineral samples… –created objects: artefacts, documents, records… –digital resources: documents, images, multimedia objects, data, software… –digital surrogates of physical objects: documents, images… –metadata: catalogue records, item descriptions, collection-level descriptions (!)…

5 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April What is a collection? Various criteria for aggregation, e.g. –By location –By type/form of item –By provenance of item –By source/ownership of item –By nature of item content –…. Permanent, temporary Discrete, distributed

6 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Collection description & collection-level description Collection description –Michael Heaney’s analytic model Unitary –info about collection as whole, not about items Hierarchic –info about collection as whole, and about items (and relationships between items and whole) Analytic –info about items in collection Indexing –info derived from items in collection

7 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Collection description & collection-level description Collection-level description –unitary RSLP CD schema provides basis for unitary descriptions Collection-level description –what level/type of aggregation is “collection-level” in this context? –functional granularity

8 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Why collection-level description? Collection-level description might –Disclose information about collections –Provide overview of otherwise uncatalogued items –Enable user to select collections to search on basis of summary description –Enable software agents to select collections to search on behalf of user –Support controlled searching of multiple collections

9 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Why collection-level description? Cross-domain –Different ideas of “collections” –Different criteria for defining “collections” –Different ways of describing “collections” –But useful/possible to agree on broadly shared view…? Permit user to compare broadly similar high-level objects –even where items heterogeneous

10 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April CLDs as resource discovery metadata CLD as an overview of aggregate of items –useful in many different contexts, for many purposes CLDs support “survey of information landscape” –“to identify areas rather than specific features - to identify rainforest rather than to retrieve an analysis of the canopy fauna of the Amazon basin” (Heaney, 2000)

11 Collection-level description work at UKOLN

12 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) Support for academic researchers –disclosure of collections –discovery of/access to collections –collaborative management of collections Collections in RSLP –projects describing primarily (but not exclusively) collections of physical items –projects also describing digital catalogues (which describe physical items) i.e. collections of metadata records –projects creating new digital collections of collection descriptions

13 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April RSLP collection description project Project –Sept 1999 – Sept 2000 –funded by RSLP, with support from OCLC –collaboration between UKOLN (Andy Powell, Michael Day) and Michael Heaney (Oxford) Aims –means of consistent collection description in RSLP –minimise duplication of effort in projects –simple, high-level, aligned with other work

14 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April RSLP Model of collection Michael Heaney, An Analytic Model of Collections and their Catalogues –Independent of implementation Identifies –Entities –Attributes/properties of entities –Relationships between entities Based primarily on library/archival view –but applicable across wide range of collection types?

15 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April ContentItem Producer Creator Administrator Location RSLP Model (simplified view) Collection Collector Owner

16 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April RSLP CD Schema structured set of metadata attributes concerned with the simple description of subset of entities in RSLP model –Collections –Locations –Agents –collectors –owners –administrators based on Dublin Core where possible

17 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April RSLP CD Schema XML syntax uses RDF –non-RDF XML syntax under consideration Several RDBMS implementations by RSLP projects Not –a replacement for existing detailed collection description formats (e.g. EAD) –a replacement for MARC A “Dublin Core for collection description”?

18 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Administrator Location Schema vs. model Collection Item Content Collector Owner Producer Creator

19 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Collection Description Focus Since June 2001 Funded by –RSLP –JISC/DNER –British Library Benefit from collaboration with –Interoperability Focus –JISC Information Environment architecture team –Dublin Core Collection Description WG –CIMI Improve consistency, compatibility of approaches to CLD

20 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Collection Description Focus Point of contact, advice –support for CLD in programmes Gather information on existing practice –survey questionnaire, implementer visits Consensus-building –CD Forum Disseminate good practice –workshops, briefing days –publications –recommendations, guidelines

21 CIMI/ CD Focus survey

22 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April CIMI/ CD Focus survey CD Focus interested in –current activity in CLD –standards/specifications used for CLD –schemas –terminologies, thesauri etc –how schemas/specs used/deployed –approaches/technologies/tools –problems Not limited to CDF funder communities Discussion at CIMI, June 2001

23 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April CIMI/ CD Focus survey Survey questionnaire, Sep/Oct respondents –only 22 working in museum domain Emphasis on library/archive collections (Q11, Q15) Use of CLD for resource disclosure/ resource discovery (Q17) Considerable sharing of CLDs in “union catalogues” (Q18)

24 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April CIMI/ CD Focus survey Outside archival community, range of descriptive schemas (Q20) –local schemas –legacy (unstructured?) CLDs Unfamiliar concepts? Granularity Relationships –collection-item –collection-service –collection-”agents”

25 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April CIMI/ CD Focus survey Subject as access point (Q23-25) –LCSH most widespread –but terminologies problematic Cross-domain v domain-specific? Personal/corporate names as access point (Q26-28) –especially for archival collections

26 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April CIMI/ CD Focus survey Implementation section (Q33-37) least successful –wide variation beyond e.g. RSLP CLDs as data or document –c.f. recent discussions re EAD Requirements –more information on CLD –audience - user or manager –forum for discussion –interest in standardisation?

27 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April What next? Survey revealed limited information for CLD in museums –Focus on description of object But more generally, interest in CLD for resource disclosure/discovery? Is CLD useful for museums? Is it an area for CIMI to explore further? In what form?

28 Collections & Collection-level description, Boston, April Acknowledgements UKOLN is funded by Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the UK higher and further education funding councils, as well as by project funding from the JISC and the European Union. UKOLN also receives support from the University of Bath where it is based.


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