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Re: Archive as a collection of things

From: Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@dataliberate.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 14:20:42 +0100
Message-ID: <CAD47Kz5sCDC=vHW4MEU21n_sGb+PV8t+AYwdp3--6iYVMuyV0g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Giovanni Michetti <michetti@mail.ubc.ca>
Cc: Sarah Romkey <sromkey@artefactual.com>, public-architypes <public-architypes@w3.org>
More good points and analysis - comments below...

~Richard


> 1) with regard to the two potential approaches there is a major issue:
> "owns" (ie "Products owned by the organization or person" [sic]) is not an
> adequate property for describing custody. When we talk about custodial
> history we are not necessarily talking about owning. Archives may be
> deposited, or borrowed (e.g., for an exhibition), so at a given time they
> may be possessed by an archival institution, while being owned (i.e.
> possessed by right) by some other subject. The custodial history is the
> story of the custody, not the story of the owners. We need to trace it,
> because it provides fundamental information to assess authenticity.
>

Sounds like "owns" [with suitable expansion to include Things that are not
only Products] only does half the job, and we need a parallel mechanism to
describing temporary ownership or 'holding'.  One possibility could be to
enhance OwnershipInfo <http://schema.org/OwnershipInfo> to be capable of
describing ownership of a temporary nature. Alternatively we could go for
another property to alongside owns. The name of 'holds' immediately comes
to mind but I fear it would not be acceptable to the the wider Schema.org
group due to alternative meanings in areas such as sport and medicine.

>
> 2) with regard to archives as CreativeWorks, I agree with you: it cannot
> be argued that "a government document is not a type of CreativeWork", not
> because it is indeed, but because as a matter of fact CreativeWorks are not
> defined. It is strange though that we can find email messages, datasets,
> books, and any sort of things in the CreativeWorks bucket, while documents
> and records have not been mentioned at all. I think first of all we should
> define a class for Document, since the bulk of an archives is made by
> documents after all.
>

With the evolving nature of Schema.org it is not that surprising that
apparently obvious things are not yet represented in the vocabulary.  Types
get into the vocabulary when a need is identified.  This is exactly the
process that we are engaged in here -- archivists identify that they have a
need to describe a category of CreativeWorks named Documents and propose
the creation of such a Type in an archives extension or even potentially in
the core vocabulary.

I have updated the Wiki Page
<https://www.w3.org/community/architypes/wiki/Main_Page> to reflect this
suggestion.


> Giovanni
>
>
>
>
> On 2015-08-07 1:04 AM, Richard Wallis wrote:
>
>> Some good points Sarah - comments below...
>>
>>     Two properties stick out to me that are not covered as far as I can
>>     tell in the generic Collection schema:
>>
>>     1. Holding archives/institution: because archives are unique, it's
>>     important to record the institution that holds the collection.
>>
>>
>>     Related to this point:
>>
>>     2. Custodial history, or the archival history of the collection
>>     before and during its custody in an institution. This is important
>>     to record for making presumptions of authenticity and understanding
>>     the limits to what the collection contains (e.g., half of it was
>>     lost in a fire, etc)
>>
>>
>> There are a couple of potential approaches to these points.  Firstly
>> coming at it from the holding organization's point of view:
>>
>>   * Organization <http://schema.org/Organization> has an owns
>>     <http://schema.org/owns> property that has OwnershipInfo
>>     <http://schema.org/OwnershipInfo>  as one of the options in its
>>     range. OwnershipInfo <http://schema.org/OwnershipInfo> has some
>>     useful properties for capturing some of the things you describe
>>     associated with ArchivesCollections it may hold.
>>   * Some of the current descriptions of these properties are very
>>     Product focused, but recommending that an Organization can
>>     additionally own CreativeWorks (such as an ArchivesCollection) could
>>     well work.
>>
>> Secondly from the point of view of describing the same current and
>> historical information for a collection:
>>
>>   * The OwnershipInfo Type could be enhanced to include the owner
>>     Organization
>>   * The proposed ArchivesCollection could have an ownedBy property which
>>     would have Organization, Person, and OwnershipInfo in its range
>>
>>
>>     Giovanni touched on this in the other thread covering items in
>>     collections.
>>
>>     Re: CreativeWork: in addition to the examples that you raise
>>     Richard, there is a lot of content in archival collections which
>>     many would argue isn't "creative" in nature, such as data,
>>     governmental documents, etc. I would be glad to see us expand the
>>     hasPart idea beyond the scope of CreativeWork.
>>
>>
>> So will I.  Not sure that in the generic Schema.org world that you could
>> argue that a government document is not a type of CreativeWork, but
>> there are many other non-CreativeWork items that can be found in Archives.
>>
>>
>>
Received on Friday, 7 August 2015 13:21:12 UTC

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