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Thinking collectively: resource disclosure through collection-level description mda Conference “Common Threads”, Edgbaston, Birmingham, 6 September 2002. Bridget Robinson (content by Pete Johnston) UKOLN, University of Bath Bath, BA2 7AY. cd-focus@ukoln.ac.uk http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/.

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Bridget Robinson (content by Pete Johnston) UKOLN, University of Bath Bath, BA2 7AY


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    1. Thinking collectively:resource disclosure through collection-level descriptionmda Conference “Common Threads”, Edgbaston, Birmingham, 6 September 2002 Bridget Robinson(content by Pete Johnston) UKOLN, University of Bath Bath, BA2 7AY cd-focus@ukoln.ac.uk http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ UKOLN is supported by:

    2. Thinking collectively: resource disclosure through CLD • The resource discovery context • Collections, collection description & collection-level description • Approaches to collection description • Applying collection-level description mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    3. The resource discovery context • Strategic initiatives for museums • “Renaissance in the Regions” • Single Regional Agencies • Re:source Framework for Collections Management • And elsewhere…. • Libraries: • People’s Network : connectivity • Full Disclosure : retrospective cataloguing • Research Support Libraries Programme : disclosure/access, collaborative management • Archives: • Access to Archives, Scottish Archival Network, Archives Hub : integrated access mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    4. The resource discovery context • Digital content creation programmes • making heritage (more) accessible • NOF-Digitise • £50m content creation programme • supporting strategy for social inclusion, lifelong learning • digitised objects • learning materials • 130 projects, Summer 2001- • Culture Online • “to widen access to resources of arts/cultural sector for purposes of learning and enjoyment” mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    5. The resource discovery context • Broader resource discovery context • user wants information relevant to task/activity • may see structural/organisational boundaries of information providers as unimportant! • content providers exposing content through multiple services, channels • service providers “surfacing” content from multiple (distributed) sources • … from web sites to portals mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    6. The resource discovery context • Technological context • XML everywhere…. • Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting Release Version 2.0 (stable) • enabling sharing of metadata records (using XML over HTTP) • Web Services (SOAP etc) • enabling modular distributed applications (communicating using XML over HTTP) • CIMI • Dublin Core testbed • Metadata harvesting using OAI PMH • CIMI XML Schema for SPECTRUM testbed mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    7. The resource discovery context • e.g. HEIRPORT • Cross-searching metadata databases of ADS, RCAHMS, SCRAN, Portable Antiquities • Z39.50 search/retrieval protocol • Dublin Core (in XML) http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/heirport/ mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    8. mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    9. The resource discovery context • Access… • Integration… • Collaboration…. • “Interoperability as recombinant potential” (Dempsey, 2002) • The whole is more than the sum of the parts mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    10. Collections, collection description & collection-level description

    11. What is a collection? • Collection • “an aggregation of items” • Aggregations of, e.g. • natural objects: fossils, mineral samples… • created objects: artefacts, documents, records… • digital resources: documents, images, multimedia objects, data, software… • digital surrogates of physical objects: documents, images… • metadata: catalogue records, item descriptions, collection-level descriptions (!)… mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    12. What is a collection? • Various criteria for aggregation, e.g. • By location • By type/form of item • By provenance of item • By source/ownership of item • By nature of item content • …. • Permanent, temporary • Discrete, distributed • Collections created with intent/purpose • collection development policies mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    13. What is a collection? • CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model draft v3.3.2, 31 July 2002 • E78 Collection • Subclass of: Physical Man-Made Stuff • Scope Note: This entity describes an aggregate of items, which is maintained by an Actor following a plan of cultural relevance over time. Things may be added or taken out of a collection in pursuit of this plan. A collection is designed for a certain public, and the conservation of the collected items is normally catered for. mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    14. What is a collection? • Museums • collections of physical objects/items • collections of digital objects/items • collections of metadata records • describing physical objects • describing digital objects • Collections are made available to users through services mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    15. Collection of physicalitems Physicallocation Physicalservice Physical services make physical collections available at physical locations mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    16. Networkservice Website Collection of digitalitems Digitallocation Network services make digital collections available at digital locations mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    17. Collection of physicalitems Physicallocation Physicalservice CatalogueWebinterface Digital catalogue (Collection of digitalmetadata records) Digitallocation Networkservice Physical services make physical collections available at physical locations mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    18. Collection of digitalitems Digitallocation Website Networkservice Collection of digitalmetadata records Digitallocation Network services make digital collections available at digital locations mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    19. User wants to know… • Which collections are relevant to their requirement? • subject/coverage of items? • type? • legal status? • conditions of access/use? • etc • What services make those collections available? • location? • access? • etc mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    20. Website OAI repository Harvestvia OAI-PMH Collection of digitalmetadata records Z39.50 target Search/retrievevia Z39.50 SOAP receiver unstructured network service operationsvia SOAP structured network service Collections of digital metadata records made available through multiple network services mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    21. Collection of physicalitems Collection of digitalmetadata records Website A Harvestvia OAI PMH OAI RepositoryA Portalsite C OAIRepository B Website B Collection of digitalmetadata records Collection of digitalitems mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    22. “User” wants to know… • Which collections are relevant to their requirement? • subject/coverage of items? • type? • legal status? • conditions of access/use? • etc • What services make those collections available? • location? • access? • etc • “User” may be human researcher or software tool mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    23. The problem • “We’ve created this incredible constellation of collections, of pools of information accessible through the Net. And people can’t find which pool to look in” • (Lynch, 2002) mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    24. Collection description • Describing the “pools”…. • Hierarchic • info about collection as whole, and about items (and relationships between items and whole) • Analytic • info about items in collection • Indexing • info derived from items in collection • Unitary • info about collection as whole, not about items • “collection-level description” • (typology from Heaney 2000) mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    25. Why collection-level description? • Enable collection provider to • disclose information about collections • overview of otherwise uncatalogued items • summary where item-level detail inappropriate/unavailable • manage collections • in collaboration with other providers • inform strategic planning • e.g. Resource • assess priorities for item-level cataloguing • e.g. Full Disclosure mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    26. Why collection-level description? • Enable user to • discover/locate collections • physical/digital • select collections to explore/search on basis of summary description • physical/digital • compare collections as broadly similar objects even where items heterogeneous mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    27. Why collection-level description? • Enable software agents to • select (digital metadata) collections to search on behalf of user • e.g. on basis of profile/preferences • perform searches across multiple (digital metadata) collections mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    28. Why not collection-level description? • What is a collection? • the “functional granularity” question • “even-ness” across contexts, domains • Absence of cross-domain consensus on schemas for CLD? • Access points for CLD • What is the “subject” of a museum collection? • Uncertainty of value of CLD, compared to item-level description? • resource managers, resource users • Collection-level description v collection asssessment? mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    29. Approaches to collection-level description

    30. IMLS on collection description • “Collections should be described so that a user can discover important characteristics of the collection, including scope, format, restrictions on access, ownership, and any information significant for determining the collection’s authenticity, integrity and interpretation.” • IMLS Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    31. CLDs in archives • “Collections” defined by provenance of (unique, physical) items • records of organisation or individual • principle that value of individual record derives from context, relationships • Archival description • emphasis on “multi-level” resource description • hierarchical collection description • well-established standards e.g. ISAD(G), EAD • Established services: NRA, Archives Hub, A2A, SCAN etc mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    32. CLDs in libraries • Focus on description of (non-unique, physical) item • well-established standards (MARC, AACR2) • shared cataloguing • emphasis on discovery • Until recently, CLD informal, unstructured • Collections defined by • location • subject • Standards • some use of MARC for CLD (especially in USA) • deployment of RSLP CD schema by RSLP projects mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    33. CLDs in libraries • RSLP Collection Description project • Michael Heaney, An Analytical Model of Collections and their Catalogues • Entity-Relationship model • Implementation independent • Based mainly on library/archival view of ‘collection’ • but intended to be applicable across wide range of collection types • RSLP Collection Description schema • Andy Powell (UKOLN) • structured set of metadata attributes • simple description of subset of entities in model • attributes based on Dublin Core Element Set where possible mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    34. CLDs for digital resources • Some description of aggregates of resources • use of general metadata schemas (e.g. DC, GILS) • application-specific, protocol-specific approaches • Evolution of approaches to creating digital collections • “proof of concept” (technological focus?) • greater attention to custodianship, use • focus on integration, reuse, interoperability, sustainability • (Cole 2002, Besser 2002) • Integration requires shared conventions for talking about collections • growing interest in collection-level metadata mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    35. CLDs in museums • Focus on description of (unique, physical) object • for management more than discovery? • But notion of “collection” is used • collection management • collection mapping/assessment • Various criteria • type/form of item • subject • ownership/source • Some CLD (maybe not called CLD…!) • e.g. guides to holdings, directories mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    36. CLDs in museums • Little standardisation? • some use of Dublin Core MES (CIMI testbed) • some use of Encoded Archival Description DTD (NHM) • some use of RSLP CD schema • Crossroads (West Mids) • Find It In London • Regional collection mapping exercises • West Midlands, South-West Region • growing interest in • sharing data within profession • using data to support disclosure as well as management • Resource Framework for Collections Management mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    37. CLDs in museums • A few examples…. • FENSCORE (Natural Science collections) • http://fenscore.man.ac.uk/ • Directories including CLD • http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/ • http://www.cornucopia.org.uk/ • http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ • http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/ • Some RSLP projects include CLD for museum resources • http://www.rascal.ac.uk/ • http://www.mappingwales.ac.uk/ • http://scone.strath.ac.uk/ mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    38. Applying collection-level description

    39. Collection-level description & Research Support Libraries Programme • Support for academic researchers • disclosure of collections • discovery of/access to collections • collaborative management of collections • Collections in RSLP • projects describing primarily collections of physical items (library/archive) • projects also describing digital catalogues (which describe physical items) • collections of metadata records • Projects have created subject-based or regional databases of CLDs mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    40. Collection-level description & the JISC Information Environment • Content made available as collections • various content providers • Physical collections • of physical resources (e.g. books, journals) • Digital collections • of digital resources (texts, images, multimedia objects, software, datasets, “learning objects” etc) • of digital metadata records • describing physical items,digital items,physical collections • Users access content through services http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/distributed-systems/jisc-ie/arch/ mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    41. Using Collections in the JISC Information Environment • HTML Web sites • Aimed at human reader not software tool • Different user interfaces, different metadata schemas • Researcher “joins up” services manually • The portal solution • task/user-centred • single point of access to range of heterogeneous network services • The “IE service registry” • Database of collection-level descriptions, service descriptions mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    42. Content Web Web Web Web Service Registry Collection Description Portal Service Description End-user User Profiles The service registry in the Information Environment The vision…. End-user is “automatically” presented with relevant resources through relevant channels mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    43. Surveying the landscape • CLD not a substitute for item-level description • complementing item-level discovery • enabling item-level discovery (JISC IE) • CLD as achievable goal? • RSLP CD schema for simple, high-level CLD • Useful for museums? • CLDs support “survey of information landscape” • “to identify areas rather than specific features - to identify rainforest rather than to retrieve an analysis of the canopy fauna of the Amazon basin” (Heaney, 2000) • The “navigator” of the landscape may be a human researcher or a software tool mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    44. Acknowledgements • UKOLN is funded by Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the UK higher and further education funding councils, as well as by project funding from the JISC and the European Union. UKOLN also receives support from the University of Bath where it is based. • http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    45. References • Lorcan Dempsey, “Metadata in a distributed environment : interoperability as recombinant potential”, Keynote Paper, OCLC/SCURL New Directions in Metadata conference, August 2002 • Andy Powell,ed. Collection Level Description: A Review of Existing Practice (Aug1999) <http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/cld/study/> • Michael Heaney, An Analytical Model of Collections and their Catalogues (Jan 2000)<http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/rslp/model/amcc-v31.pdf/> • Tony Gill, Stephen Stead, Matthew Stiff, Definition of the CIDOC object-oriented Conceptual Reference Model v 3.3.2 (Jul 2002) • <http://cidoc.ics.forth.gr/docs/cidoc_crm_version_3.3.2.doc> mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002

    46. References • Howard Besser, “The Next Stage: Moving from Isolated Digital Collections to Interoperable Digital Libraries”, First Monday, Vol 7 No 6 (June 2002) • <http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_6/besser/index.html> • Tim Cole, “Creating a Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections”, First Monday, Vol 7 No 5 (May 2002) • <http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/cole/index.html> • Clifford Lynch, “Digital Collections, Digital Libraries, and the Digitization of Cultural Heritage Information”, First Monday, Vol 7 No 5 (May 2002) • <http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/lynch/index.html> • Digital Library Forum, A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. IMLS. (November 2001)<http://www.imls.gov/pubs/forumframework.htm> • Andy Powell and Liz Lyon, The JISC Information Environment Architecture, 2001<http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/distributed-systems/jisc-ie/arch/> mda Conference, Edgbaston, 6 September 2002