York Digital Library were successful in a recent JISC funding round and have a couple of projects starting up this month. One is AQuA, led by the University of Leeds, in which we’re partners along with the British Library and the Open Planets Foundation. The other is the aforementioned OpenART which builds on the outputs from a major York-Tate AHRC project called Court, Country, City.
This project is short (6 months) and tightly scoped (to design and expose linked open data for a dataset entitled ‘The London Art World 1660-1735’) and I think very interesting, because it goes beyond a single layer of (meta)data about collections – it brings together a range of data sources including Library, Archive and Museum collection and bibliographic information, along with original research which will ideally result in an open data expression of a rich piece of research.
From the bid: “At the heart of OpenART is ‘The London Art World 1660-1735’, a major research and metadata-creation activity designed to provide a detailed, archive-based resource, enabling users to explore this art world’s lost networks, markets and geographies”. Nigel Thomas, Digital Library Developer who contributed to the technical thinking in the resulting bid, drew up a couple of illustrative diagrams to help us understand the data and present it in the bid in a simple way. I think these diagrams remain useful and have pasted one below. It isn’t modelled in any formal sense, but it presents a few of the relationships expressed in the data. The dataset is richly dependent on relationships like the ones shown here. For this diagram we used four central entities: people, place, sale and source, although these may change when we formally model things. The people, place and sale information is all contemporary to the period and demonstrates how we can develop understanding of what was happening in the London Art World for our chosen period by following a network of relationships. Source is the least ‘modelled’ of the four, but it is here where I see a path running from contemporary records and works of art into current locations of and metadata for collections.
I’ll write more once the project gets properly underway.