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What, Where, When, and Who: A Renaissance for the Reference Collection Michael Buckland School of Information Management & Systems

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What, Where, When, and Who: A Renaissance for the Reference Collection Michael Buckland School of Information Management & Systems and Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, University of California, Berkeley Ohio State University Libraries, November 15, 2005.

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What, Where, When, and Who:

A Renaissance for the Reference Collection

Michael Buckland

School of Information Management & Systems

and Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative,

University of California, Berkeley

Ohio State University Libraries, November 15, 2005

Ohio State University Libraries

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In a paper library the reference collection is arranged in convenient categories and for making notes on . . .

  • What, When, Where, Who, Why, and How
  • using specialist genres of reference works:
  • General and subject areas: Dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • Geography section: Atlases and gazetteers
  • History section: Chronologies and time-lines
  • Biography section: Who’s whos, biographical dictionaries
  • etc.
  • This has become more difficult in a digital environment.

Ohio State University Libraries

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WHAT? Searching by topic, e.g. Dewey, LCSH, any subject index, or category scheme.

  • Two kinds of mapping in every search:
  • Documents are assigned to topic categories, e.g. Dewey
  • Queries have to map to topic categories, e.g. Dewey’s Relativ Index from ordinary words/phrases to Decimal Classification numbers.
  • Also mapping between topic systems, e.g. US Patent classification and International Patent Classification.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Text

Numeric datasets

It is difficult to move between different media forms.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Text THESAURUS

Maps GAZETTEER Captions Numeric datasets

Different media can be linked indirectly via metadata, but sometimes (e.g. for socio-economic numeric data series) you also need to specify WHERE.

Ohio State University Libraries

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WHERE. Geo-temporal search interface. Place names found in documents. Gazetteer provided lat. & long. Places displayed on map.

Timebar

Ohio State University Libraries

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Zoom on map. Click on place for a list of records. Click on record to display text.

Ohio State University Libraries

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WHERE Place names are problematic:

- Variant forms: St. Petersburg, Санкт Петербург, Saint-Pétersbourg, . . .

- Multiple names: Cluj, in Romania / Roumania / Rumania, is also called Klausenburg and Kolozsvar.

- Names changes: BombayMumbai.

- Homographs:Vienna, VA, andVienna, Austria;

50 Springfields.

- Anachronisms: No Germany before 1870

- Vague, e.g. Midwest, Silicon Valley

- Unstable boundaries: 19th century Poland; Balkans; USSR.

Use a gazetteer!

Ohio State University Libraries

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 A catalog record:Isle of Man Tramways. ISBN 0715347403

008 700812 1970 enkabh, b,fe 001 0 eng Country of publication code for England

043 a e-uik– Geographic Area Code. The cataloger has erroneously used the “Country Code” used in field 008, instead of the Geographic Area Code prescribed for 043. Should be e-uk-ui for “Europe. Great Britain Miscellaneous Island Dependencies”.

050 0 a TF764.M27 b P4 1970 Geographic code embedded in Library of Congress Classification number

082 0 a 388.4/6/094289 Geographic code embedded in Dewey Decimal Classification number

100 1 a Pearson, Frederick Keith. Author

245 10 a Isle of Mantramways, c by F. K. Pearson;… Place name used adjectivally in title.

260 a Newton Abbot : b David & Charles, c 1970. Place of publication, not in the Isle of Man.

500 a Imprint covered by label: A. M. Kelley, New York. Note that Place of publication obscured.

6102 0 a ManxElectric Railway Company. Adjective for Isle of Man used in corporate name used as subject heading.

650 0 a Street-railroads z Man, Isle of.Geographic subdivision using inverted form of name. The island known as Man is represented six different ways, three searchable.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Catalogs and gazetteers should talk to each other!

Catalog search

Gazetteer search

Geographic sort / display of catalog search result.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Ask the gazetteer where Urbana is?

Ohio State University Libraries

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Text THESAURUS

Maps GAZETTEER Captions Numeric datasets

Proper place namecontrol requires a gazetteer

-- and latitude and longitude allow points on maps.

Ohio State University Libraries

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WHEN. Search by time is also weakly supported.

  • Calendars are the standard for time.
  • But people use the names of events to refer to time periods.
  • Named time periods resemble place names in being:
  • Unstable: European War, Great War, First World War.
  • Multiple: Second World War, Great Patriotic War.
  • Ambiguous: “Civil war” in different centuries in England, USA, Spain.
  • Places have temporal aspects & periods have geographical aspects: When the Stone Age was, varies by region.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Similarity between place names and period names

So a similar solution: A gazetteer-like Time Period Directory.

Gazetteer:

Place name – Type – Spatial markers (Lat & long) -- When

Time Period Directory

Period name – Type – Time markers (Calendar) – Where

Note the symmetry.

Note the connections between Where and When.

A directory of 2,000 named time periods derived from LCSH Chronological subdivisions is at ecai.org/imls2004

Ohio State University Libraries

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Web Interface - Access by country / US state / world city

Named periods used in scholarly discourse.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Web Interface - Access by map

Ohio State University Libraries

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Web Interface - Access by timeline

Link initiates search of the

Library of Congress catalog

for all records relating to this

time period.

Ohio State University Libraries

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WHEN and WHAT. These named time periods are derived from Library of Congress catalog subject headings and so can be used for catalog searching which finds books on topics important for that time period.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Text THESAURUS

Maps GAZETTEER Captions Numeric datasets

TIME PERIOD DIRECTORY Timeline

Chronology

Genres and INFRASTRUCTURE

Ohio State University Libraries

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WHEN, WHERE and WHO. Catalog records found from a time period search commonly include names of persons important at that time. Their names can be forwarded to, e.g., biographies in the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Ohio State University Libraries

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Place and time are broadly important across numerous tools and genres including, e.g. Language atlases, Library catalogs,

Biographical dictionaries, Bibliographies, Archival finding aids, Museum records, etc., etc.

Biographical dictionaries are heavy on place and time: Emanuel Goldberg, Born Moscow 1881. PhD under Wilhelm Ostwald, Univ. of Leipzig, 1906. Director, Zeiss Ikon, Dresden, 1926-33. Moved to Palestine 1937. Died Tel Aviv, 1970.

Life as a series of episodes involving Activity (WHAT), WHERE, WHEN, and WHO else.

Ohio State University Libraries

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BIOG. DICT.

Text THESAURUS

Maps GAZETTEER Captions Numeric datasets

TIME PERIOD DIRECTORY Timeline

Chronology

Ohio State University Libraries

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BIOG. DICT. 2

BIOG. DICT. THESAURUS 3

Text 2THESAURUS 2

Text THESAURUS

Maps GAZETTEER Captions Numeric GAZETTEER 2 etc datasets

GAZETTEER 3

TIME PERIOD DIRECTORY Time line

TIME PERIOD DIRECTORY 2 Chronology

TIME PERIOD DIRECTORY 3

Ohio State University Libraries

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Through

- standards

- good practice

- interoperability

an “intermediate infrastructure” like a traditional reference collection could be built and shared.

Thank-you!

ecai.org/imls2004 [email protected]

Work done jointly with Fredric Gey, Ray Larson, and others.

Acknowledgments: Institute of Museum & Library Services, National Science Foundation, DARPA, Academia Sinica (Taiwan), Alexandria Digital Library project, and others.

Ohio State University Libraries

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