There's a fair amount of innovation taking place with respect to linked
data in archives, but I don't think it's as well advertised as what's been
taking place in libraries in North America. The highest profile project in
the archival realm is Social Networks and Archival Context (, which is focused mainly on
archival authorities, but there's a tremendous potential in being able to
aggregate archival content related to these authorities. Authorities and
archival content can and are being modelled into linked open data, but
there's no real standard for how to do this in the field. A group is
working on a conceptual reference model for archival collections, but the
modelling of people and their relationships is bold new territory. I've
done some work on this myself using a variety of existing ontologies and
software platforms to connect pieces from our archives, digital library,
authorities, and museum objects together into a cohesive framework (you can
read more at and

It is also possible to use CIDOC-CRM for the modelling of people and their
relationships and events (same for using the CRM to model archival
collections). CIDOC-CRM is rarely, if ever discussed in code4lib despite
its 'importance' in the cultural heritage sector (predominately in Europe).
I've had difficulty getting discussions for the modeling of authorities
into RDF off the ground with some grant applications that have fallen short.


On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 9:57 AM, Matt Sherman <[log in to unmask]>

> Hi all,
> I was recently talking with some folks about some archives related
> things and realized that while I've heard a lot recently about
> different projects, advancements, and issues within library specific
> metadata, and its associated concerns, I have not heard as much
> recently about metadata in the archives realm.  Is there much going on
> there?  Is linked data even useful in a setting with extremely unique
> materials?  Is this a stupid question?  I don't know, but I am curious
> to hear if there are any interesting things people are doing in
> archival metadata or any challenges folks are working to overcome.
> Matt Sherman