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Introducing the ELAR information system architecture . Robert Munro & David Nathan. Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Outline. Introduction The ELAR architecture User Requirements Ingestion Archive & dissemination Conclusions.

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introducing the elar information system architecture

Introducing the ELAR information system architecture

Robert Munro &

David Nathan

Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), School of Oriental and African Studies, London

outline
Outline
  • Introduction
  • The ELAR architecture
  • User Requirements
  • Ingestion
  • Archive & dissemination
  • Conclusions
introduction who we are
Introduction – who we are
  • Part of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project (HRELP), based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
  • Funded by the Lisbet Rausing Charitable fund
  • The other two parts are:
    • Academic Programme (ELAP) runs postgraduate courses, seminars and workshops
    • Documentation Programme (ELDP) funds endangered language documentation projects
elar current state
ELAR – current state
  • In the process of designing and implementing key systems:
    • accession system (ingestion system)
    • archive information system
    • catalogue serving system
    • archive access system
    • data storage
    • long-term backup system
elar current state1
ELAR – current state
  • Source of materials supporting the systems analysis and design:
    • literature review
    • review of exemplar materials
    • interaction with associated archives
    • interaction with ELDP grantees
    • interaction with members of ELAP
    • departmental seminars on language documentation
    • seminars focused on archiving
elar architecture
ELAR – architecture
  • Strongly informed by the Open Archive Information System (OAIS) Reference Model (CCSDS, 2002)
the oais model

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The OAIS model

Producers

Ingestion

Archive

Dissemination

Designated communities

the oais model1

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The OAIS model

Producers

Ingestion

Archive

Dissemination

Designated communities

Identify the nature of the materials (content, format and structures) that data producers will create

the oais model2

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The OAIS model

Producers

Ingestion

Archive

Dissemination

Designated communities

Identify the intended users of the archive, and their user requirements

the oais model3

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The OAIS model

Producers

Ingestion

Archive

Dissemination

Designated communities

Define dissemination formats, data structures and procedures that support the user requirements of the designated communities

the oais model4

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The OAIS model

Producers

Ingestion

Archive

Dissemination

Designated communities

Design an archive information system able to store all the information and produce the required dissemination packages.

the oais model5

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The OAIS model

Producers

Ingestion

Archive

Dissemination

Designated communities

Define ingestion (accession) formats and structures that minimise the conversion cost

the oais model6

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The OAIS model

Producers

Ingestion

Archive

Dissemination

Designated communities

The archive needs to define three types of ‘packages’: ingestion, archive and dissemination.

ingestion
Ingestion
  • A set of formats & structures that can be converted to archive formats with minimal effort:
    • file formats conforming to the 7 + 1 dimensions of portability (Simons and Bird, 2003; Johnson 2004)
    • support incremental assembly of the deposit
    • well-documented structures: XML with schema ideal
  • ELAR preferences:
    • uncompressed, nonpropriety formats
    • well-documented structures: (OLAC, IMDI, custom)
ingestion1
Ingestion
  • Filenames and structure of deposit:
    • we convert deposits to formats / structures appropriate for the archive information system
    • …but, we record the filenames and directory structures of the deposit, allowing depositors to navigate the materials via them
ingestion2
Ingestion
  • Access protocols
    • … tomorrow
archive and dissemination
Archive and dissemination
  • Granularity:
    • archive objects can be bundles
    • archive objects can be a subsection of a file
    • the types of related materials and their relationships should play a part in the search options
archive and dissemination1
Archive and dissemination
  • Version control:
    • modeling versions of materials are required
    • multiple types of versioning might be required (migration / dissemination / content update)
    • versions will be ‘invisible’ to most dissemination packages
archive and dissemination2
Archive and dissemination
  • Adding materials and metadata:
    • users can add comments to data
    • users can add metadata values not provided by a depositor
    • users can make relationships between items, including mapping
    • users can supplement the kinds of metadata and relationships in the archive.
    • note: all the above require moderation and supporting architecture
archive and dissemination3
Archive and dissemination
  • Language support:
    • users should be able to add comments / metadata in any language
    • users should be able to navigate the archive access system via the language preference(s) of their choice
    • the archive architecture needs to support translations of metadata and comments
archive and dissemination4
Archive and dissemination
  • Archive services
    • advice and conversion services to depositors
    • response to requests for information
    • supporting communications between individuals associated with the archive
archive and dissemination5
Archive and dissemination
  • Archive information system:
    • separate metadata from materials
    • avoid redundancy
  • Dissemination packages:
    • favour embedding metadata
    • redundancy ok if an aid interpretation
  • Technical solutions:
    • we use MySQL to support the archive
    • for dissemination, we favour XML and formats allowing metadata to be embedded (PDF, BWF)
conclusions
Conclusions
  • ELAR is newly opened for deposits
  • Key systems are in the process of development
  • Significant features include:
    • modelling archive objects at different granularities
    • modelling relationships between objects
    • users can enter/define their own metadata
    • users can translate information into the language of their choice
    • users can navigate via the language(s) of choice