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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

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

Gordon Dunsire

Centre for Digital Library Research

  • CC-interop project
  • Integrating SCONE with CAIRNS
  • Union catalogues & interoperability
  • Metadata confusion
  • Some clarification
cc interop project
CC-interop 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
Work Package B
  • “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
Collection-level description
  • 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 …
targets in clumps
“targets in clumps”
  • (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
“intelligent selection”
  • 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
  • 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
union catalogues
Union catalogues
  • 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
copac in cairns
  • 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
  • “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
NLS down
  • 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
And then there was …
  • 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
Metadata profusion or pollution?
  • 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)
anglo uk scot nuc
Anglo/UK/Scot NUC



Local catalogue






Union cat.

Distributed Union cat. A

Distributed Union cat. B


Union cat. A


Union cat. B

(Distributed) NUC

  • 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 …
thank you
Thank you!