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Re: Archive as a collection of things

From: Browell, Geoffrey <geoffrey.browell@kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2015 12:15:48 +0000
To: "public-architypes@w3.org" <public-architypes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <AMXPR03MB152E7241ACE7553A977A5C4C2700@AMXPR03MB152.eurprd03.prod.outlook.com>
Responding to all the excellent suggestions so far in the threads, I think we ought to always bear in mind the potential use for an archival Schema in the real archival community - which solution will best be adopted by the widest number of archival organisations to maximise improved findability.

In terms of possible 'sells' to sceptical, time-poor archivists, a focus on the location of the repository is crucial. Most (but not all) archives can be matched to a physical location and the sell here is being able to generate suggestions via Google searches similar to the 'search for Cold Play' 'Cold Play tickets for sale at concert, buy here' type suggestions. The obvious possibility would be for someone searching for a name or a person and having a box appear with a summary of the main collection information (difficult if somebody's papers are held by different institutions, I grant) with the opening times and contact details/Google map of where to get to the Archive institution.

This is a roundabout way of saying that whatever we come up in terms of the LocalBusiness debate needs to bear in mind these types of potential practical benefits.

Valentine's point about hierarchies is well made as in practice, people will seek to add this schema to a public catalogue and it matters where in the hierarchy it is added in terms of the website.

OwnershipInfo definitely needs to capture the wider concept of custodianship - many archives are deposited, on temporary loan etc and may not, in fact, own anything.

The item/type debate: the variety is almost endless - artefacts, digital archives, etc all add to complexity. I suspect a high proportion of public catalogues will display results down to the level of a whole collection/fonds (an entire person/organisation's papers)/file (which might be the lowest level of producible object that can be managed). Indexing using a controlled vocabulary might take place down to this level but not to the level of an single physical object like a piece of paper (or even its digital equivalent). How, in practice, will people use this extension for the maximum possible impact for the least effort?


Dr Geoff Browell
Head of Archives Services
King's College London
Strand Building

Tel: 0207 848 2011
Email: Geoffrey.browell@kcl.ac.uk<mailto:Geoffrey.browell@kcl.ac.uk>
Web: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/library/collections/archivespec

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Received on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 09:00:23 UTC

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