From archives to the cloud. Perspectives on sources and descriptions

mpilhlt Colloquium: Archives

  • Date: Jun 8, 2021
  • Time: 14:15 - 16:00
  • Speaker: Andreas Wagner
  • Organisation: Stefanie Rüther
  • Location: video conference
  • Room: For further information please contact ruether@lhlt.mpg.de
From archives to the cloud. Perspectives on sources and descriptions

When you encounter archival sources, often they are already entangled in data structures, at the very least in archival administration and description schemes. Often, you will also want to enrich the sources with further data beyond what is written in them – or you will just want to explicitly and formally note what is dispersed throughout the text. Finally, as you are already investing a lot of effort into the acquisition of the sources for your project, you may want to share the data with partners or future colleagues and wonder what kind of ulterior needs you should incorporate into your preparation of the data. From authors, publishers and archivists to scholars, citizen scientists and perhaps the wider public, different parties are interested in the sources, but they pursue different purposes. These are all reflected in the data accumulating in and around the sources.

The various levels of ‘payload’ and meta data are at times hard to navigate: what to record, where to do so, how to normalise it, what to combine and what to separate, which vocabulary to use and which standard to follow? Starting from a presentation of archival data schemes and standards, I will present various types of data circulating the objects of your research. Via standards and authorities to observe, criteria to consider and blurry boundaries to contemplate, we will end with discussions that, funnily enough, are as rooted in the epistemology of social and historical sciences as in the development of the so-called Semantic Web.


image source: Portal zur Geschichte e.V., Bad Gandersheim

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