Tuesday, 21 of October of 2014

Simple linked data recipe for libraries, museums, and archives

Participating in the Semantic Web and providing content via the principles of linked data is not “rocket surgery”, especially for cultural heritage institutions — libraries, archives, and museums. Here is a simple recipe for their participation:

  1. use existing metadata standards (MARC, EAD, etc.) to describe collections
  2. use any number of existing tools to convert the metadata to HTML, and save the HTML on a Web server
  3. use any number of existing tools to convert the metadata to RDF/XML (or some other “serialization” of RDF), and save the RDF/XML on a Web server
  4. rest, congratulate yourself, and share your experience with others in your domain
  5. after the first time though, go back to Step #1, but this time work with other people inside your domain making sure you use as many of the same URIs as possible
  6. after the second time through, go back to Step #1, but this time supplement access to your linked data with a triple store, thus supporting search
  7. after the third time through, go back to Step #1, but this time use any number of existing tools to expose the content in your other information systems (relational databases, OAI-PMH data repositories, etc.)
  8. for dessert, cogitate ways to exploit the linked data in your domain to discover new and additional relationships between URIs, and thus make the Semantic Web more of a reality

I am in the process of writing a guidebook on the topic of linked data and archives. In the guidebook I will elaborate on this recipe and provide instructions for its implementation.


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