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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...


> 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

> 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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