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Monday, July 20 • 9:15am - 10:30am
Linked data for chronological period definitions • Emblematica as linked data case study • Modeling cultural heritage information on the medieval Middle East

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Session recording of "Periods, Organized (PeriodO): A Linked Data Gazetteer for Chronological Period Definitions" and "Modeling Cultural Heritage Information on the Medieval Middle East"

Periods, Organized (PeriodO): A Linked Data Gazetteer for Chronological Period Definitions, Adam Rabinowitz (UT Austin), Ryan Shaw (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Patrick Golden (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
This will be a live presentation, but video demos of PeriodO are viewable in advance.
This demo introduces PeriodO (https://perio.do), a Linked Data gazetteer of chronological periods. PeriodO provides structured-data representations of named time-spans according to the spatial and temporal boundaries provided for those named time-spans by authoritative sources. By documenting definitions from specific authorities, rather than proposing a standardized vocabulary, PeriodO makes it possible to assign temporal-coverage metadata values that are specific to particular places, disciplines, traditions, or scholarly communities in a transparent manner. The gazetteer provides persistent identifiers, clear provenance for definitions and authorities, and internal semantic relationships that indicate, for example, that one period definition is derived from another. The demo will cover browsing the PeriodO gazetteer using the updated user interface, reconciling a local defined period vocabulary against the PeriodO dataset using Open Refine, and adding new periods to PeriodO. It will also introduce visualization plug-ins and Python scripts for command-line reconciliation. The demo will conclude with a discussion of the next phase of PeriodO's development and its usefulness as a linking node to connect temporal information described with natural-language chronological terms. The intended audience for this demo includes metadata managers, museum database administrators, archivists, data aggregators, scholars in the historical disciplines, and anyone interested in the intellectual history of periodization.

Links All the Way Down: Emblematica as a LOD Case Study, Presenters: Cindy Tian (Notre Dame Law Library) and Greta Heng (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Co-authors: Timothy W. Cole and Myung-Ja Han (University of Illinois)
Pre-recorded presentationPlease watch this independently on Youtube and join us on Slack for Q&A: #ld4_2020_data_sources_track
Linked Open Data (LOD) infrastructure relies on well-designed ontologies, frameworks and identifier best practices. But the finest infrastructure is worthless if you cannot reconcile your metadata to link to appropriate LOD authorities, and (importantly) if you cannot connect these authorities one to another in ways that improve end user services. Emblematica Online, a digital library portal which provides integrated discovery and access to 1,388 digitized emblem books from six major international rare book emblem collections, was used as a case study to examine reconciliation obstacles and illustrate potential connectedness benefits. Book-level descriptions of digitized emblem books derived from legacy cataloging were analyzed. String values & codes for names, languages, subjects, and genres were searched using LOD Authority APIs (VIAF, Library of Congress, Getty) to discover entity URI links. Results highlighted the challenges of reconciling legacy cataloging metadata, some of which were overcome in a second pass by extending and refining processing logic. But results also highlighted the limitations of legacy-based authorities. Name and subject cataloging practices have varied over time and between Europe and North America. Subject authorities vary in degree of hierarchy and redundancies. There are trade-offs in historical choices that have impact today (e.g., between simple and compound subject headings). These trade-offs and other differences can impact potential user services. This research suggests that leveraging links between authority records -- e.g., between LCSH and RAMEAU subject authorities, and between VIAF and DNB name authorities--can help enhance user services. This lightning talk will share the study results, illustrate approaches that we found improved reconciliation, and highlight why authorities in combination are better than over reliance on single authorities. This case study provides another data point for others implementing LOD to enhance the discovery and value of digitized special collection library resources.

Modeling Cultural Heritage Information on the Medieval Middle East, Daniel L. Schwartz (Texas A&M)
This session demonstrates Syriaca.org, a linked open data project for the field of Syriac Studies. Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic that flourished in the Middle East between the 3rd and 9th centuries. It is still used liturgically by Christian communities in the Middle East as well as by diaspora communities in Europe and North America. Syriac offers the third largest corpus of literature (after Greek and Latin) from the ancient Mediterranean world; including histories, letters, theology, and early Biblical translations. Since modern Syriac communities lack national archives, libraries, or museums to provide a linked open data infrastructure for the field, it has been incumbent upon scholars in the fields of History, Near Eastern Studies, and Religious Studies to undertake this task. Syriaca.org publishes collections of authority files on persons, places, works, and bibliography. Additional collections on manuscripts and a domain ontology of structured keywords for describing ancient entities and the secondary literature produced by scholars are in production. Each authority file identifies an entity, assigns a cool URI (i.e., a URI that is also a URL resolvable by a web browser), and encodes core data on that entity. This data is stored natively in TEI XML and the encoding of each file makes extensive use of URIs for other entities. Syriaca.org has developed the Srophé App to provide a variety of ways for users to engage with the resulting data graph. Built on eXist-db, The Srophé App directs human users to an html display of the data but also services API calls for either the base TEI data or a serialization of that data into RDF. A web plugin allows online projects using Syriaca.org URIs to link back to our data graph. The intended audience for this session is GLAM institutions interested in linked data produced by humanities researchers.

Session Facilitators
avatar for Michelle Durocher

Michelle Durocher

Head, Metadata Management, Harvard Library, Harvard University
avatar for Christine Fersebner Eslao

Christine Fersebner Eslao

Metadata Technologies Program Manager, Harvard Library Information & Technical Services


Adam Rabinowitz

Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Classics, College of Liberal A
avatar for Ryan Shaw

Ryan Shaw

Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
I'm an associate professor and coordinator of the undergraduate program at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I teach courses on the foundations, theory, and practice of information science and information organization... Read More →

Patrick Golden

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Cindy Tian

Metadata Services Librarian, University of Notre Dame Law Library
avatar for Daniel L. Schwartz

Daniel L. Schwartz

Associate Professor, Texas A&M University
I work in the field of Late Antique history, specifically Syriac Studies. I direct Syriaca.org. My DH work focuses on using the TEI and linked open data for scholarly work in Syriac Studies and for cultural heritage preservation.

Monday July 20, 2020 9:15am - 10:30am PDT