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Re: Archive as a collection of things

From: Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@dataliberate.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 20:43:00 +0100
Message-ID: <CAD47Kz4SXhqBfitwBHQ-RsMVRDEATPNbOE-o63i+tTHbXunybg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Giovanni Michetti <michetti@mail.ubc.ca>
Cc: "Young,Jeff (OR)" <jyoung@oclc.org>, Sarah Romkey <sromkey@artefactual.com>, public-architypes <public-architypes@w3.org>

Yes you have, in areas to consider terms, you have covered things well.

I think now we should start to drill down towards potential properties and
some examples thereof.

Your emphasis of the possible technical facets of access & use, raises a
question that I believe will occur several times as we move forward.

When is a descriptive need a consequence of an item being part of an
archival collection, and when is just part of that item whatever the
context?  If the item is an 8 inch floppy disc, the need for a certain
types of drive and software should be descriptive requirements anyway.  In
an archives context however a relationship to such resources, in the
current or other archives, should be describable.

Enjoy your vacation!


On 9 August 2015 at 02:13, Giovanni Michetti <michetti@mail.ubc.ca> wrote:

> Richard,
> I gave a further look at some other standards, including ISAD, RAD, DACS,
> EAD, CIDOC CRM, and I don't have anyting to add to the list of
> relevant aspects I've already laid out (i.e., identification, physical
> characteristics etc.), except that I would like to make clear that access &
> use may refer to technical access, ie technical requirements such as the
> need for specific hardware or software.
> On a separate note, I'm going on vacation, so probably I won't be able to
> join the discussion in the next two weeks--my apologies.
> Giovanni
> On 2015-08-07 8:27 PM, Richard Wallis wrote:
>> Seems that we are moving towards of agreement albeit at differing levels
>> of detail. :-)
>> I suggest we let the harvesting of thoughts and opinions continue for a
>> while and then see if we have enough to shape up some examples to kick
>> the tyres on.
>> ~Richard
>> On 7 August 2015 at 18:29, Giovanni Michetti <michetti@mail.ubc.ca
>> <mailto:michetti@mail.ubc.ca>> wrote:
>>     Jeff,
>>     of course I agree, Events and Actions may help describing what
>>     happens to archival objects. However, I think you highlighted a
>>     relevant point here. According to the initial request from Richard,
>>     we have been asked to identify the relevant properties needed to
>>     describe archival objects. I started identifying some "areas", i.e,
>>     aspects that we consider relevant, because I took Richard's request
>>     as a sort of identification of users' needs rather than properties.
>>     In fact, you "translated" the need for information on the history of
>>     objects in a set of classes and properties. In other words, once a
>>     need is identified and accepted, we'll find a way to represent
>>     it--and there may be indeed different solutions.
>>     I think at this point is important to identify our needs, i.e. what
>>     we need to know about the objects. Once we agree on these needs, we
>>     may focus on the best way to represent them--either a new property,
>>     or a new class? either a specialization of a property or a new
>>     property? and so on.
>>     Anyway, the short reply is, I agree with you.
>>     Giovanni
>>     On 2015-08-07 6:04 PM, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:
>>             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.
>>         It seems like http://schema.org/Event and/or
>>         http://schema.org/Action could help track the history of an
>>         item. The connection back to the ArchivalItem items could
>>         presumably be made using http://schema.org/object.
>>             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.
>>         This seems somewhat analogous to https://schema.org/TradeAction
>>         cases where temporal/transient control can be expressed and
>>         attached to a thing, again via http://schema.org/object.
>>         Jeff
>>             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.
>>             Giovanni
>>             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 Sunday, 9 August 2015 19:43:30 UTC

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