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Re: Archive Collection and Archived Item

From: Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@dataliberate.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2017 15:59:31 +0100
Message-ID: <CAD47Kz77w-ieUSzvxW=HwjSEA8JUNq33sG+SzhM2tctoY0jQyA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Giovanni Michetti <giovanni.michetti@ubc.ca>
Cc: Jane Stevenson <Jane.Stevenson@jisc.ac.uk>, public-architypes <public-architypes@w3.org>
It’s great to see my straw man proposal has created some activity.

I agree I think we are moving towards maybe updating the proposal a little.

Jane your description of “*the concept of a part of an archive, kind of
thing*” demonstrates wonderfully how difficult the naming of types and
properties can be, especially when they need to make sense to
data consumers in the world outside archives.

I am all for improving the proposal.  Whilst doing that however we always
need to take into account that the goal is to get the proposal adopted as
an extension to the large generic vocabulary, by the Schema.org community.
To this end we need to wherever possible reuse terms that are already in
the vocabulary; follow similar modelling patterns; and make it simple to
understand by those who do not understand the inner workings of archives.

I have sympathy with Owen for example that ArchivedItem ideally would be
better subtyped from Thing.  Pragmatically however the chances of such a
proposal being accepted would be virtually zero.  New subtypes
and properties for Thing are rare occurrences as the community try to
maintain a clean structure at the very top of the vocabulary structure.

~Richard





Richard Wallis
Founder, Data Liberate
http://dataliberate.com
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardwallis
Twitter: @rjw

On 11 April 2017 at 15:49, Giovanni Michetti <giovanni.michetti@ubc.ca>
wrote:

> Jane,
>
> I appreciate your practical approach, but I don't see why we can't try and
> create an Extension that would fit better our (archival) perspective. Like
> you, I'll use what is there, but I see here an opportunity to change
> things, and accomodate the model to our needs. In my opinion, it's too
> early to say "let's go for the best fit". After all, there's been very
> little discussion about this extension, so we are still in time to amend
> it, integrate it or even re-think it. I guess we are all looking for the
> best solution. The Extension as it is now is just a straw-man proposal, as
> Richard wrote. Let's see if we can improve it.
>
> So, back to your final statement, I'm not sure I agree. Please don't
> misunderstand me, I'm not saying I want to create "our own higher level
> classes just for archives". I'm just saying I don't know, I'd like to think
> a bit of it and see whether a better Extension can be designed. If this -
> from my point of view - would mean creating higher level classes just for
> archives, I'll make a proposal, and try to explain why I think that would
> be a better solution. Perhaps together we may find a third, different
> option that would satisfy us all.
>
> Giovanni
>
>
>
>
> Il 11/04/2017 16:29, Jane Stevenson ha scritto:
>
>> I did worry about this to start with, but I don’t think it matters that
>> is is classed under ‘intangible’ as I don’t think that impacts in terms of
>> the role of schema.org.  I think its a case of trying to use what is
>> there and that’s the best fit, even if its not an entire fit. We don’t want
>> to create our own higher level classes just for archives.
>>
>> the definition reads "an item in an archival collection", so it is an
>>> item indeed.
>>>
>>
>> I think maybe that’s misleading. I don’t think its an item I think its
>> the concept of a part of an archive, kind of thing :-)
>>
>> I would definitely vote for changing the name and the definition, to
>> avoid confusion.
>>
>> cheers
>> Jane
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 11 Apr 2017, at 15:08, Giovanni Michetti <giovanni.michetti@ubc.ca>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I don't know, Jane. Somehow I get the vague idea behind this solution,
>>> anyway it doesn't seem just a problem of names--the definition reads "an
>>> item in an archival collection", so it is an item indeed. Since it is under
>>> Intangible, it is intangible too. Which leads to a further doubt--where
>>> should we put the tangible archival item?
>>>
>>> The overall picture is a bit confusing...
>>>
>>> Giovanni
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Il 11/04/2017 15:55, Jane Stevenson ha scritto:
>>>
>>>> I think I do get ‘ArchivedItem’ now - I just didn’t for a while because
>>>> I kept equating it to a real archival item.
>>>> If I forget the name and just think of it as ‘X’ then I can see that
>>>> it's just something to hang properties from that we think might be specific
>>>> to archives. I think its kind of as simple as that….?  But that’s why its
>>>> probably best to drop ‘item’ - I know the name doesn't matter, but I think
>>>> its confusing.
>>>> Jane.
>>>>
>>>>> On 11 Apr 2017, at 14:46, Giovanni Michetti <giovanni.michetti@ubc.ca>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Hi Richard,
>>>>>
>>>>> thank you for further explanation.
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm sorry, but I still don't get your point.
>>>>>
>>>>> ArchivedItem is "an item in an archival collection", so it is included
>>>>> in an archival collection by definition. Putting ArchiveCollection as a
>>>>> sub-class of ArchivedItem, means that ArchiveCollection is a type of
>>>>> ArchivedItem, which is not consistent with the definition of
>>>>> ArchiveCollection ("A collection and/or archive of physical or digital
>>>>> items").
>>>>>
>>>>>  From your words, I understand that your choice was driven by the need
>>>>> for specific properties. If that's the case, I wonder why we can't simply
>>>>> extend the properties of Thing, or find anyway some other solution.
>>>>>
>>>>> Giovanni
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Il 11/04/2017 14:45, Richard Wallis ha scritto:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Hi Giovanni,
>>>>>> Your view of the generic nature of ArchiveCollection (/Therefore, a
>>>>>> fonds, a series, a subseries, a collection, a set of sparsed objects may
>>>>>> all be subsumed under ArchiveCollection according to the its definition/.)
>>>>>> is what I had in mind when I made the original proposal.
>>>>>> Both Jane and you express confusion as to why ArchiveCollection is a
>>>>>> sub-class of ArchivedItem, which is initially understandable.  The reason I
>>>>>> proposed it that way is to make pragmatic use of the way Schema.org is
>>>>>> constructed.
>>>>>> ArchivedItem <http://archive.sdo-archive.appspot.com/ArchivedItem>,
>>>>>> when added as an additionalType of any other Thing (CreativeWork, Product,
>>>>>> whatever) effectively makes available properties to describe attributes of
>>>>>> its membership in an archive (provenance, accessAndUse, itemCondition,
>>>>>> location, transfer, etc.).   If the Type of Thing is unknown ArchivedItem
>>>>>> could potentially be used as the only Schema Type.
>>>>>> When looking to describe an ArchiveCollection, the majority of those
>>>>>> properties would also be of use in its description.  To achieve this the
>>>>>> proposal could have either individually added these properties to
>>>>>> ArchivedCollction or, as I proposed, just make it a subtype of
>>>>>> ArchiveCollection.
>>>>>> ~Richard.
>>>>>> Richard Wallis
>>>>>> Founder, Data Liberate
>>>>>> http://dataliberate.com
>>>>>> Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardwallis
>>>>>> Twitter: @rjw
>>>>>> On 11 April 2017 at 13:06, Giovanni Michetti <
>>>>>> giovanni.michetti@ubc.ca <mailto:giovanni.michetti@ubc.ca>> wrote:
>>>>>>     Hi Jane,
>>>>>>     I would stick to the definition of ArchiveCollection, which is "A
>>>>>>     collection and/or archive of physical or digital items."
>>>>>>     (http://archive.sdo-archive.appspot.com/ArchiveCollection
>>>>>>     <http://archive.sdo-archive.appspot.com/ArchiveCollection>).
>>>>>>     The Archival Extension doesn't define what an archive is (as a set
>>>>>>     of objects--an archive is either an institution or an
>>>>>> organization,
>>>>>>     according to the definition of Archive). However, it is quite
>>>>>> clear
>>>>>>     that the definition of ArchiveCollection intends to cover any
>>>>>>     aggregation of items, that is, the term 'archive' in the
>>>>>> definition
>>>>>>     is used in a very generic sense. Therefore, a fonds, a series, a
>>>>>>     subseries, a collection, a set of sparsed objects may all be
>>>>>>     subsumed under ArchiveCollection according to the its definition.
>>>>>>     Using a single class to identify any type of aggregations
>>>>>> (including
>>>>>>     no aggregation at all) is consistent with the most relevant
>>>>>> archival
>>>>>>     standards: ISAD uses "Unit of description" and EAD uses
>>>>>> "Component".
>>>>>>     Recently, ICA proposed a draft model (RiC) where they identified
>>>>>> two
>>>>>>     classes, Record and RecordSet (along with RecordComponent), which
>>>>>> is
>>>>>>     a bit different from the other models, yet is based on a single
>>>>>>     class identifying any aggregation--that is, no need for fonds,
>>>>>>     series, etc.
>>>>>>     We can discuss whether we need to distinguish between the single
>>>>>>     item and its aggregations, or it is better to just stick to a
>>>>>>     simpler model, ie "Component" like in EAD. However, going to your
>>>>>>     questions, I don't see any problem in considering both your
>>>>>> examples
>>>>>>     as being instantiated under ArchiveCollection. The same for the
>>>>>>     properties.
>>>>>>     I don't understand very well why ArchiveCollection is a sub-class
>>>>>> of
>>>>>>     ArchivedItem in the Extension, so I share your doubts.
>>>>>>     As I wrote in some earlier message, I have many doubts about this
>>>>>>     model. For this reason, I started investigating it further with
>>>>>> some
>>>>>>     colleagues of InterPARES Trust, in order to provide some
>>>>>> systematic
>>>>>>     comments on the Archival Extension. My aim is to share the
>>>>>> comments
>>>>>>     in a month.
>>>>>>     Regards
>>>>>>     Giovanni
>>>>>>     Il 11/04/2017 11:16, Jane Stevenson ha scritto:
>>>>>>         Hi there,
>>>>>>         I had a huge email written as I was working this out, but I’ve
>>>>>>         tried my best to distill it down to one essential question…..
>>>>>>         There is a type ‘ArchiveCollection', which has ’super types’
>>>>>> of
>>>>>>         CreativeWork’ and ‘ArchivedItem’ with properties we can use to
>>>>>>         describe our thing(s).
>>>>>>         To take an example, let’s say I wanted to have schema.org
>>>>>>         <http://schema.org> markup attached to:
>>>>>>         A collection or ‘top level’ description:
>>>>>>         https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb2607-ec/1-12
>>>>>>         <https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb2607-ec/1-12>
>>>>>>         A lower level description:
>>>>>>         https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb2607-ec/1-12/ec/7
>>>>>>         <https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb2607-ec/1-12/ec/7>
>>>>>>         All I know about these are that one is ‘top level’ so that
>>>>>> there
>>>>>>         are no parent levels above it, but there may be child levels.
>>>>>>         The other is lower level, so it has at least one parent level.
>>>>>>         Can I just treat the lower level ’thing(s)' as
>>>>>>         type=ArchiveCollection? So, I can I use the properties from
>>>>>>         CreativeWork and ArchivedItem for both the top level and lower
>>>>>>         level group of stuff?
>>>>>>         I don’t want to distinguish between collection and item
>>>>>> actually
>>>>>>         within the archive; I just want to apply schema.org
>>>>>>         <http://schema.org> markup using the appropriate types and
>>>>>>         associated properties.
>>>>>>         Richard defined Collection:
>>>>>>         “ArchiveCollection: The collection/grouping/assemblage of
>>>>>>         archived items. Descriptive properties reference the
>>>>>> collection
>>>>>>         as a whole.”
>>>>>>         I want to separate this out from what archivist thing of as an
>>>>>>         archive collection, and treat it simply as a ‘group of things’
>>>>>>         or even just one thing if that represents a stand-alone
>>>>>>         collection. Is this correct?
>>>>>>         The archive.schema.org <http://archive.schema.org> defines
>>>>>>         ‘ArchivedItem’ as ‘an item in an archive collection’. But I
>>>>>>         thought it was a ‘type' that is applied to ArchiveCollection?
>>>>>> I
>>>>>>         didn’t think it actually related to ‘item’ meaning a single
>>>>>> thing.
>>>>>>         I think there is some confusion in the documentation between
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>         term ‘ArchivedItem’, which I understand to be a type that can
>>>>>> be
>>>>>>         applied to an ArchiveCollection, with properties of
>>>>>>         ‘archive-ness’,  and an actual item in a collection (and we
>>>>>>         don’t usually describe single items anyway). It maybe doesn’t
>>>>>>         help that the properties within ArchivedItem are ‘item’ - e.g.
>>>>>>         itemDescription, itemLocation, itemProvenance. Can I see them
>>>>>> as
>>>>>>         archiveunitDescription, archiveunitLocation,
>>>>>> archiveunitProvenance.
>>>>>>         NB - that’s why in EAD we use ‘unit’ and not anything like
>>>>>>         ‘item’  - because we can only know that it is a unit within a
>>>>>> whole.
>>>>>>         cheers
>>>>>>         Jane
>>>>>>         Jisc is a registered charity (number 1149740) and a company
>>>>>>         limited by guarantee which is registered in England under
>>>>>>         Company No. 5747339, VAT No. GB 197 0632 86. Jisc’s registered
>>>>>>         office is: One Castlepark, Tower Hill, Bristol, BS2 0JA. T
>>>>>> 0203
>>>>>>         697 5800.
>>>>>>         Jisc Services Limited is a wholly owned Jisc subsidiary and a
>>>>>>         company limited by guarantee which is registered in England
>>>>>>         under company number 2881024, VAT number GB 197 0632 86. The
>>>>>>         registered office is: One Castle Park, Tower Hill, Bristol BS2
>>>>>>         0JA. T 0203 697 5800.
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>
Received on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 15:00:13 UTC

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