Making sense of the hybrid super union catalogue in the information environment
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Making sense of the hybrid super union catalogue in the information environment …. Gordon Dunsire Centre for Digital Library Research. … some outcomes of the COPAC/Clumps continuing interoperability project. Overview. CC-interop project Integrating SCONE with CAIRNS

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Making sense of the hybrid super union catalogue in the information environment l.jpg

Making sense of the hybrid super union catalogue in the information environment …

Gordon Dunsire

Centre for Digital Library Research

Overview l.jpg
Overview interoperability project

  • CC-interop project

  • Integrating SCONE with CAIRNS

  • Union catalogues & interoperability

  • Metadata confusion

  • Some clarification

Cc interop project l.jpg
CC-interop project interoperability project

  • Funded by JISC, May 2002 - Jun 2004

  • CURL OPAC (physical u.c.); CAIRNS, M25, RIDING (distributed Z39.50 u.c., or ‘clump’)

  • CAIRNS and CDLR involved in Work Package B: Enhance the role of clumps (in the JISC Information Environment)

Work package b l.jpg
Work Package B interoperability project

  • “Looking at the intelligent selection of targets in clumps utilising collection level descriptions based on dynamic landscaping”

  • Using the Scottish Collections Network (SCONE) to select sub-sets (“miniclumps”) of CAIRNS catalogues

Collection level description l.jpg
Collection-level description interoperability project

  • Metadata for a collection as a whole

    • E.g. collector, location, education level

  • Can be used to search and identify collections by useful headings (“dynamic landscaping”)

    • Place (physical location)

    • Type (archive, library, museum, etc.)

    • Subject …

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“targets in clumps” interoperability project

  • (Z39.50) catalogues

  • But catalogues are collections of item-level metadata

    • So we can treat catalogues using cld methods

  • And what the catalogue describes is also a collection

    • Typically the total bibliographic holdings of a library

Intelligent selection l.jpg
“intelligent selection” interoperability project

  • SCONE retrieval interface can be used to identify CAIRNS catalogues

  • Catalogues and their corresponding library collections have clds in SCONE

  • Library clds are related to clds for special sub-collections

    • E.g. rare books, manuscripts, special donations, etc.

Scone cairns l.jpg
SCONE/CAIRNS interoperability project

  • SCONE and CAIRNS interfaces developed to link CAIRNS “static clumper” to SCONE

    • Part-resourced by the SLIC SPEIR project

  • In operation

    • User generates list of collections in SCONE

    • System determines which are described by available CAIRNS catalogues

    • CAIRNS advanced search page displayed with relevant targets pre-selected

Demonstration l.jpg
Demonstration interoperability project


Union catalogues l.jpg
Union catalogues interoperability project

  • CC-interop was about interoperability between two types of union catalogue

    • COPAC is a physical aggregated copy of CURL member catalogues

    • A clump is a virtual aggregation of distributed (local) member catalogues

  • Clump2clump (hyperclump) and clump2COPAC interactions successfully demonstrated

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COPAC in CAIRNS interoperability project

  • COPAC Z39.50 target added to CAIRNS

  • CURL includes National Library of Scotland, University of Edinburgh …

    • So CAIRNS includes duplicates of several catalogues

  • When COPAC added to CAIRNS, corresponding clds added to SCONE

    • Including “COPAC collection”

Copac in scone l.jpg
COPAC in SCONE interoperability project

  • “COPAC collection” linked as parent or super-collection of each of the (Scottish) CURL library collections already in SCONE

    • Not all Scottish CURL members are necessarily CAIRNS targets

  • Collection hierarchy can be used to find ‘nearest’ catalogue

    • In terms of aggregation level: if the library collection has no specific catalogue, a super-collection might …

Nls down l.jpg
NLS down interoperability project

  • NLS Z39.50 catalogue not available due to upgrades, etc.

    • Temporarily switched-off in CAIRNS

  • When NLS collection (or sub-collection) selected in SCONE, COPAC automatically presented as the relevant CAIRNS target

    • Service not totally disrupted

    • User not confused by duplicate item-level metadata

And then there was l.jpg
And then there was … interoperability project

  • HaIRST catalogue

    • Physical aggregated copy of local metadata repositories (some without local visibility)

    • And the HaIRST catalogue itself is a “local” metadata repository (with visibility) which can be harvested (copied) in turn


    • p.a.c. of local/global metadata

  • National Burns Collection catalogue …

Metadata profusion or pollution l.jpg
Metadata profusion or pollution? interoperability project

  • Metadata duplication

    • Direct copies (HaIRST)

    • Augmented copies (COPAC, SUNCAT)

      • Enhanced descriptive metadata

      • Standardised retrieval metadata

  • Overlapping catalogues

    • Partial contents copied (SUNCAT, CASS)

  • Distributed catalogues

    • Partial contents moved (CASS?, HaIRST)

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Anglo/UK/Scot NUC interoperability project



Local catalogue






Union cat.

Distributed Union cat. A

Distributed Union cat. B


Union cat. A


Union cat. B

(Distributed) NUC

Landscaping l.jpg
Landscaping interoperability project

  • SCONE cld methods developed for COPAC and CAIRNS are applicable to

    • Any aggregation of structured metadata

    • Any aggregation of aggregation of structured metadata

  • The key to simplification & clarity lies in the concept of “nearest”

    • Simple in mono-hierarchy of NLS/COPAC, much more complex in poly-hierarchy of NLS/COPAC/CASS/SUNCAT/CAIRNS …

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Thank you! interoperability project