There is an ontology for archival description developed by the Europeana
project. The web site for the ontology is here:
and there are some good articles about it here and here:
Note that Europeana provides an XSD version of the ontology because that
is what most of the contributors could handle. (The list of contributors
is here: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/europeana-providers.html).
Europeana shows on the linked data cloud as a major content provider.
When looking for vocabularies, you might want to have a look at the
Linked Open Vocabularies site:
This lists all of the vocabularies in use in the LOD cloud.
You can search for properties, and a search on "time" or "place" gives
you many options.
Note that these are properties, and there is still the question of
values or objects. For example, if you are going to be including
geographic places in your ontology, then you probably want to use URIs
from the geoNames database. (http://www.geonames.org).
On 1/18/14, 6:39 PM, Eric Lease Morgan wrote:
> If you were to select a set of RDF ontologies intended to be used in the linked data of archival descriptions, then what ontologies would you select?
> For simplicity's sake, RDF ontologies are akin to the fields in MARC records or the entities in EAD/XML files. Articulated more accurately, they are the things denoting relationships between subjects and objects in RDF triples. In this light, they are akin to the verbs in all but the most simplistic of sentences. But if they are akin to verbs, then they bring with them all of the nuance and subtlety of human written language. And human written language, in order to be an effective human communications device, comes with two equally important prerequisites: 1) a writer who can speak to an intended audience, and 2) a reader with a certain level of intelligence. A writer who does not use the language of the intended audience speaks to few, and a reader who does not "bring something to the party" goes away with little understanding. Because the effectiveness of every writer is not perfect, and because not every reader comes to the party with a certain level of intelligence, writ!
> ten language is imperfect. Similarly, the ontologies of linked data are imperfect. There are no perfect ontologies nor absolutely correct uses of them. There are only best practices and common usages.
> This being the case, ontologies still need to be selected in order for linked data to be manifested. What ontologies would you suggest be used when creating linked data for archival descriptions? Here are a few possibilities, listed in no priority order:
> * Dublin Core Terms - This ontology is rather bibliographic in
> nature, and provides a decent framework for describing much of
> the content of archival descriptions.
> * FOAF - Archival collections often originate from individual
> people. Such is the scope of FOAF, and FOAF is used by a number
> of other sets of linked data.
> * MODS - Because many archival descriptions are rooted in MARC
> records, and MODS is easily mapped from MARC.
> * Schema.org - This is an up-and-coming ontology heralded by the
> 600-pound gorillas in the room -- Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.
> While the ontology has not been put into practice for very long,
> it is growing and wide ranging.
> * RDF - This ontology is necessary because linked data is
> manifested as... RDF
> * RDFS - This ontology may be necessary because the archival
> community may be creating some of its own ontologies.
> * OWL and SKOS - Both of these ontologies seem to be used to
> denote relationships between terms in other ontologies. In this
> way they are used to create classification schemes and thesauri.
> For example, they allow the implementor to denote "creator" in one
> ontology is the same as "author" in another ontology. Or they
> allow "country" in one ontology to be denoted as a parent
> geographic term for "city" in another ontology.
> While some or all of these ontologies may be useful for linked data of archival descriptions, what might some other ontologies include? (Remember, it is often "better" to select existing ontologies rather than inventing, unless there is something distinctly unique about a particular domain.) For example, how about an ontology denoting times? Or how about one for places? FOAF is good for people, but what about organizations or institutions?
> Inquiring minds would like to know.
> Eric Morgan
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