W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-architypes@w3.org > August 2015

Re: Archive as a collection of things

From: Giovanni Michetti <michetti@mail.ubc.ca>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 17:39:59 +0200
To: Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@dataliberate.com>
CC: Sarah Romkey <sromkey@artefactual.com>, public-architypes <public-architypes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <55C4D14F.6040409@mail.ubc.ca>

re "owns":

1) yes, "owns" does half of the job, rather, part of it. Let me add 
something more, just to share knowledge and clarify the archival 
perspective. Archives are supposed to be repositories of authentic 
records. In order to guarantee and maintain authenticity we need to know 
what happens to objects from creation time till they come into our 
hands--any information gap may result in an "authenticity gap", since we 
may not be able to guarantee that records have not been tampered with, 
corrupted, misplaced etc. "What happens to objects" means that we need 
to know of any change of either the real obejcts (i.e., change of 
format, amendments, compression...) or their context, that is, their 
surroundings, including owners, custodians or any other agent who had a 
role in maintaining the environment in which records are preserved.

2) I'm not sure "hold" can be defined as a temporary ownership. For what 
I know the difference is legal. Objects may be held for decades by agent 
X, yet the property right may be held by agent Y. "To Hold" is about 
keeping stuff, "To Own" is about having a title of property on it.

3) Hence, the idea of enhancing OwnershipInfo doesn't seem to work to 
me, because it is anyway a value of property "own", which is a different 
thing from  "hold/keep/whatever".

In short, I would go for a different property. I understand your 
concerns, so maybe "Keep" may work. Otherwise, if we agree anyway that a 
class is needed, let's call it "Foo1" for the moment---we'll find the 
label later.

re CreativeWorks:
I agree with you, except that while it is true that "archivists identify 
that they have a need to describe a category [...] named Documents", it 
is not corrrect to state that archivists identify such a category as a 
CreativeWork--we are just discussing about it and see what the best 
solution is.


On 2015-08-07 3:20 PM, Richard Wallis wrote:
> 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 15:41:35 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 18:57:12 UTC