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Re: Tweaks to the Archives proposal [via Schema Architypes Community Group]

From: Jane Stevenson <Jane.Stevenson@jisc.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:36:53 +0000
To: Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@dataliberate.com>
CC: public-architypes <public-architypes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0DC71818-8E59-4776-9D59-40FC4F3F9441@jisc.ac.uk>
Hi Richard,

> It would work to describe a collection of one or more things. However, if you have a known physical item (book, article, photograph, etc) or file (video, audio, image, web page, etc.) why would you not describe it as such?

This is the nub of the matter….it is because we won’t always know. We can definitely decide that if the level is described as “item” we apply the archiveItem type. But (1) levels are not always given values - although on the Hub we do ask for this, but in general, within EAD, values are not mandatory (2) You can have a level that is a sub-series, or a folder or a file that is effectively one physical item, but the level value does not identify this. Archivists will describe ‘one folder’ but it may have one item in it.  Is something described as ‘one folder’ an item? Should ‘one box’ always be treated as a collection of items, although it may only have one item in it , e.g. an account book is a sub-series in one box.   

It is maybe possible for an individual repository to sort out single item descriptions  from ‘more than one item’ descriptions, but its not possible for us to do that in an automated way across all our data. People aren’t consistent enough with cataloguing for that, and to be fair, the standards have never emphasised the importance of distinguishing one physical item in this way. 

> This comes back to describing information about an individual item.  Potentially the ArchiveCollection the item is part of could be held by an organisation (Archive), yet an individual item could be located, on extended loan for example, at a different location.


OK. I get the logic. It is just quite rare for that to happen, unlike museums. And if it was temporarily elsewhere, we wouldn’t know. Something on loan would not be flagged as such in the description. But that’s OK - we would always just use the repository as the holding institution, so itemLocation, if we use it, would always have the same value as holdingArchive. If an item was on loan it simply wouldn’t show up in our schema.org data.  I don’t think that matters. As you say, its optional anyway. 

I think we’re ready to go now. I just have to decide on either 

A. Always use archiveCollection, including for items, because we can’t distinguish all items anyway
B. use archiveItem where we have a level value of “item” or “piece”, which will give us a majority of items (my estimate is that we would get something like 70% of single entities this way), but it will be the case that a fair number of items won’t be described as items because they don’t have that level value, even if they are single physical entities, so they will be single physical items but described as type archiveCollection.

cheers,
Jane. 


Jane Stevenson
Archives Hub Service Manager
jane.stevenson@jisc.ac.uk
(Work days: Monday to Thursday)

Tel: 0161 413 7555
Web: archiveshub.jisc ac.uk
Skype:  janestevenson
Twitter: @archiveshub, @janestevenson



> On 11 Jul 2017, at 17:26, Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@dataliberate.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi Jane,
> 
> Sorry for being slow in responding.
> 
> Answers inline.
> 
> ~Richard.
> 
> 
> On 3 July 2017 at 07:48, Jane Stevenson <Jane.Stevenson@jisc.ac.uk> wrote:
> Hi Richard and everyone,
> 
> If I decided to only use #archiveCollection for all of the units of description, would that work?  We don’t necessarily know if units described are single items or more than one item anyway, and it seems to me we can effectively describe each unit with the properties now provided, which is the main thing. So my question is, why would I need to use #archiveItem?
> 
> It would work to describe a collection of one or more things. However, if you have a known physical item (book, article, photograph, etc) or file (video, audio, image, web page, etc.) why would you not describe it as such?
> 
> 
> Just one more question…. we have properties archiveHeld and holdingArchive, and we also have itemLocation. How is itemLocation different from holdingArchive? In the example, for Ronnie Barker, itemLocation is given as the V&A Theatre & Performance Archive (URL). But surely the property of holdingArchive would do just as well.
> 
> This comes back to describing information about an individual item.  Potentially the ArchiveCollection the item is part of could be held by an organisation (Archive), yet an individual item could be located, on extended loan for example, at a different location.
> 
> All properties within Schema.org are optional, so you probably would only provide an itemLocation when an item is located separate from the holdingArchive of the ArchiveCollection of which it is part.
> 
> ~Richard.
> 
> 
> cheers
> Jane
> 
> Jane Stevenson
> Archives Hub Service Manager
> jane.stevenson@jisc.ac.uk
> 
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> 
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> 

Received on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 08:37:27 UTC

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