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Linked Open Data for Archives

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This presentation provides an accessible introduction to Linked Open Data (LOD) and how LOD is modelled and made available online. The presenters will discuss several LOD projects created by libraries and archives in order to illustrate the benefits of applying LOD principles and practices. They will also demonstrate easy ways to leverage the power of LOD for archival organizations and their digital collections, with concrete examples involving WikiData, Omeka S, and the SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Context) Project.

Society of Georgia Archivists 2018 Annual Meeting

Josh Hogan, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
Cliff Landis, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

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Linked Open Data for Archives

  1. 1. Linked Open Data for Archives 2018-10-25 - Society of Georgia Archivists Annual Meeting Josh Hogan & Cliff Landis Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
  2. 2. It all starts with goat anatomy.
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  4. 4. All metadata can be described as “triples” of SUBJECT – PREDICATE - OBJECT SUBJECT PREDICATE OBJECT Goat speciesName Capra aegagrus hircus Goat conservationStatus Domesticated Goat numberOfBreeds 300+ Goat distribution Global Baby goat movementStatus Handsome_pose! Baby goat hasCutenessLevel ZOMG!!!!1!
  5. 5. The Metadata Problem: Computers are stupid (they don’t understand meanings or relationships) • What we see • What the computer sees <head></head> <body> <background> <image> <headline>Text Text Text</headline> <tool></tool> <text>Text Text Text</text> </body>
  6. 6. Challenge: OED has 19 definitions of “Plant”
  7. 7. Let’s make the Web a little smarter! A young tree, shrub, vegetable, or flower newly planted, or intended for planting; a set, a cutting, a seedling. Now chiefly Eng. regional (midl. and south.) and Irish English (north.): a young cabbage plant. (from the OED) = Step 1: Disambiguation
  8. 8. Oh, “Plant!” You mean… • • • • • Plant dbpedia Wikidat a LCSH JSTOR Topics AAT
  9. 9. Kingdom Part of Subdomain Instance of Taxonomic Rank Step 2: Linking relationships Plant Taxon Name Plantae Taxon Rank Kingdom BNCF Number 1037
  10. 10. Aiming for “5 star” Linked Open Data ● Available on the Web (whatever format) with an open license (CC0, PD, ODC, ● As above, but as machine-readable structured data (Excel spreadsheets) ● As above, but in a non-proprietary format (CSV instead of Excel) ● As above, but use URIs to denote things, so that people can point at your stuff (persistent URIs, RDF, SPARQL) ● As above, but linking your data out to other data to provide context (Linked Open Data)
  11. 11. Linked Open Data (2008-02-28)
  12. 12. Linked Open Data (2018-09-25) "Linking Open Data cloud diagram 2018, by Andrejs Abele, John P. McCrae, Paul Buitelaar, Anja Jentzsch and Richard Cyganiak." 1,224 datasets with 16,113 links
  13. 13. Library of Congress Subject Headings
  14. 14. DBpedia
  15. 15. Neat! But what does that have to do with archives?
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  17. 17.
  18. 18. Facts can be described with metadata AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library has a website at
  19. 19. Facts can be described with metadata AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library has a website at AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library has a website
  20. 20. Facts can be described with metadata AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library has a website at AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library has a website SUBJECT PREDICATE OBJECT
  21. 21. Facts can be described with metadata AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library has a website at AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library has a website SUBJECT PREDICATE OBJECT _W._Woodruff_Library,_Atlanta _University_Center foaf/spec/#term_h omepage Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center Homepage URL
  22. 22. Triples, Triples Everywhere!!! SUBJECT PREDICATE OBJECT ruff_Library,_Atlanta_University_Center foaf:homepage ruff_Library,_Atlanta_University_Center foaf:isPrimaryTopicOf ert_W._Woodruff_Library,_Atlant a_University_Center ruff_Library,_Atlanta_University_Center dbp:established 1982 (xsd:integer) ruff_Library,_Atlanta_University_Center georss:point 33.75138888888889 - 84.41333333333333
  23. 23. Formats: • RDF/XML • JSON-LD • Turtle • N-Triples • RDFa Query: • SPARQL • API
  24. 24. Leveraging our unique resources
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  27. 27. Laurentian U. catalog: Wikidata infocards
  28. 28. UTSC: Dragoman Renaissance Research Platform
  29. 29. AUC RWWL: Omeka S (alpha)
  30. 30.
  31. 31. Controlled Vocabularies as LOD URIs
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  33. 33. Neat! But seriously, what does that have to do with my archives? Don’t worry….We’re getting there….
  34. 34. Improve findability & outreach with Wikipedia uff_Library,_Atlanta_University_Center ...But follow Wikipedia COI Best Practices! 1. Infobox 2. Abstract 3. Wikidata Item 4. References
  35. 35.,_Atlanta_University_Center
  36. 36.
  37. 37. Don’t just link out...remember to link in
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  39. 39.
  40. 40. We’re sitting on a data goldmine (but it has to be mined!) •Converting our item-level rights statements to LOD links ( •Unlocking tabular data from collections by publishing them as Linked Open Data •We can provide data we generate (statistics, analytics, door count, etc.) as linked open data for us to mine, and for others to mine nationally and globally •We can use tools to generate information visualizations of our own data and that of others (
  41. 41. ...but we’re also realists • Linked open data is open. Once you publish data, you can’t control how it will be used -- like walking in open spaces, you can’t control who will incidentally photograph you • Early adoption at large scales is often slow, difficult, and expensive (but it’s finally starting to get easier and cheaper!) • Managing linked open data is like any other metadata work -- it requires work to setup, and regular maintenance to keep up • Like all areas in the information economy, problems with quality control and authority control (e.g. “fake news”) are migrating from old media to new media -- requiring constant vigilance to ensure you’re using trustworthy sources
  42. 42. Okay, okay, so now what? Where to go from here
  43. 43. Semantic Web for beginners WATCH • Linked Open Data – What is it? – An introduction to LOD for memory organization workers • Tim Berners-Lee: The Next Web – creator of the Web talks about its next stage of evolution • Linked Open Jazz – Using oral histories to explore relationships between artists. BROWSE • – browse to get a feel for the subject-predicate-object relationships. • – browse to get a feel for the use of LOD metadata standards. READ • Rubinstein, Aaron. (2017). Sharing Archival Metadata, in Putting Descriptive Standards to Work. • Landis, Cliff. (2019). Linked Open Data in Libraries, in New Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know.
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