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Re: How to describe things in an archive collection?

From: Giovanni Michetti <michetti@mail.ubc.ca>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 01:51:08 +0200
To: Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@dataliberate.com>
CC: public-architypes <public-architypes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <55C3F2EC.1060205@mail.ubc.ca>
Hi Richard,

I understand this is the very early stage of the process, when the main 
areas of work are identified, so I didn't highlight some other issues 
that we may discuss later when we go back to each thread.

Since you asked, I don't think that ArchiveCollection is a good label, 
not because of the singular/plural issue, but because "Archive 
Collection" means a collection of archives, just like a book collection 
is a collection of books. I don't think this is what we want to 
represent here. Archives are not the members of the collection. Archives 
are the collection. We just want to say that the collection has an 
archival nature.

In short, in my opinion 'ArchivalCollection' is the proper term.

Also, please be aware that subsuming an archival collection under 
CreativeWork is a problem I would like to discuss later. Unfortunately 
the definition of CreativeWork is a tautology ("The most generic kind of 
creative work"), so technically anything can be put in there. However, I 
couldn't find under CreativeWork any class that suits a typical 
administrative records, i.e. the most common archival object in public 
archives.

I think a new class is needed. If this is agreed, we may think whether 
it has to be developed under CreativeWorks, and this may have 
consequences on the Archiv*Collection too.

However, I guess we'll discuss these issues when we focus on the 
specific threads.

Giovanni



On 2015-08-06 1:44 PM, Richard Wallis wrote:
> [...]
> Thanks for the clarification about 'archives'.  Would this mean that the
> suggested new Type ArchiveCollection should be changed to
> ArchivesCollection?
>
> ~Richard.
>
>
> Richard Wallis
> Founder, Data Liberate
> http://dataliberate.com
> Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardwallis
> Twitter: @rjw
>
> On 6 August 2015 at 03:28, Giovanni Michetti <michetti@mail.ubc.ca
> <mailto:michetti@mail.ubc.ca>> wrote:
>
>     Hello Richard,
>
>     I think that the most common standards for archival description
>     offer quite a long list of the descriptive properties that would be
>     of use in describing an item's place and role in an archives. In
>     particular, if we take a look at the most famous one, ISAD(G), and
>     avoid focusing on the specific information elements, we can
>     recognize some aspects that are fundamental to any archival description:
>
>     - identification (identifier, title, location, ...)
>     - physical characteristics (extent, dimensions, medium, ...)
>     - creation (info on creator, dates and circumstances of creation)
>     - custody (info on custodial history, including curation actions)
>     - content (scope, content, keywords...)
>     - access & use (info on conditions governing access & use)
>     - related materials (info on relationships with any relevant objects
>     within or outside the collection, including the collection itself)
>     - description control (info on the description process, including
>     authors, dates, methods ...)
>
>     I would like to point out that:
>
>     1) such a rough list comes from a quick review of ISAD only;
>
>     2) these broad categories result in a set of properties whose
>     granularity has to be defined and shared by the group. I think it
>     may be useful though to proceed in a top-down approach, identifying
>     the areas of interest, and then specifying the properties;
>
>     3) information on creation and custody, as well as on the
>     description control, is fundamental to trace the Provenance of an
>     archival object, which is a core issue in the research agenda of
>     many scientific initiatives around the world. I would put a lot of
>     attention in these areas;
>
>     4) with reference to your tentative list of properties, they all fit
>     the above list.
>
>
>     On a separate note, I would like to add a quick comment on archives
>     vs archive: 'archives' is not plural, it is a technical term used in
>     the archival domain to designate a specific object--an archives.
>     Just like a fonds is a fonds--this is not about plural. I guess no
>     one would ever create a class called "ArchivalFond", just like no
>     one would create a class called "New" to refer to news. In short, I
>     don't think the argument on respecting the Schema.org convention
>     (i.e., use singular for the names of classes) holds here. Also,
>     please note that the ICA Glossary does not have any "archive"--only
>     archives. Anyway, I'm sure there will be time for further discussion
>     later.
>
>
>     Giovanni
>
>     Giovannni Michetti
>     InterPARES Trust
>
>
>
>     On 2015-08-05 12:03 PM, Richard Wallis wrote:
>
>         In other threads we have been discussing how to describe an
>         Archive as
>         an Organization/LocalBusiness
>         <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-architypes/2015Jul/0002.html>
>         when
>         appropriate, and how to describe an ArchiveCollection
>         <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-architypes/2015Jul/0008.html>.
>         Now I think it is time to add one more area to our attention -
>         how to
>         describe the physical/digital things that we find within an archive
>         collection.
>
>         In archives we find all types of things from creative works such as
>         books, letters, artworks, videos, web pages etc., to furniture,
>         personal
>         items, vehicles, fossils, rocks and of course the favourite box of
>         things yet to be identified.  From what I understand there are
>         certain
>         common categories of things such as physical creative works, digital
>         creative works, physical containers of things identified or not,
>         but it
>         would be far too limiting to build our recommendations around these.
>         The result is that we need to be able to describe anything that
>         could be
>         found in an archive which means /anything!/.
>
>         Fortunately in our world all these things have one aspect in
>         common -
>         they are in an archive.
>
>         If we can establish a set of descriptive properties that would
>         be of use
>         in describing an item's place and role in an archive, we can
>         then look
>         to some, schema.org <http://schema.org> <http://schema.org>,
>         techniques to apply them
>         alongside other properties that are already available in the Schema
>         vocabulary.
>
>         Properties that come to mind include:
>
>              isPartOf - a reference to the collection a thing is in
>              condition - state of preservation of an item
>              containedIn - the box or digital file containing the item
>              curatedBy
>              curationDate
>              CurationEvent - possibly a better way to describe a
>         curation event -
>              linking where when and by who
>              location - of item, not necessarily the collection location
>
>
>         We could look to already existent standards, CIDOC-CRM for
>         example, as a
>         source of inspiration.
>
>         So, over to you for suggestions.  Once we have assemble a few by
>         email
>         discussion, we can create a page in the Wiki to capture them and
>         become
>         the basis for the core of our proposals.
>
>         ~Richard.
>
>
>         Richard Wallis
>         Founder, Data Liberate
>         http://dataliberate.com
>         Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardwallis
>         Twitter: @rjw
>
>
Received on Thursday, 6 August 2015 23:53:56 UTC

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