Radically Open Cultural Heritage Data on the Web
Use the link above to view the slideshare posted by Adrian Stevenson, Senior Technical Innovations Coordinator at Mimas, following his presentation on a discussion panel at South By Southwest (SXSW) 2012. The panel, entitled “Radically Open Cultural Heritage Data on the Web,” was described in the SXSW schedule as follows: “What happens when tens of thousands of archival photos are shared with open licenses, then mashed up with geolocation data and current photos? Or when app developers can freely utilize information and images from millions of books? On this panel, we'll explore the fundamental elements of Linked Open Data and discover how rapidly growing access to metadata within the world's libraries, archives and museums is opening exciting new possibilities for understanding our past, and may help in predicting our future. Our panelists will look into the technological underpinnings of Linked Open Data, demonstrate use cases and applications, and consider the possibilities of such data for scholarly research, preservation, commercial interests, and the future of cultural heritage data.” The current presentation used the LOCAH Project to provide examples for using linked data, the “key benefits of linked data” including, “an unbound global data space,” the challenges of creating linked data including, data modeling and sustainability, and future possibilities for linked open data. Mimas is “a Centre of Excellence based at the university of Manchester” and is funded by JISC. The Mimas website offers the following description: “As a nationally designated data centre, we host a significant number of the UK's research information assets. But our core expertise is building applications that enable a wide range of users to make the most of this rich resource – from students and researchers working with census data to investigate social inequalities, to scientists using satellite imagery to survey and protect our environment.” The Linked Open Copac Archives Hub (LOCAH Project) is described on the project blog as a partnership between Mimas and the United Kingdom Office for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN) “to make our Archives Hub and Copac data available as structured Linked Data, for the benefit of education and research. We want to put archival and bibliographic data at the heart of the Linked Data Web, enabling new links to be made between diverse content sources and enabling the free and flexible exploration of data so that researchers can make new connections between subjects, people, organisations and places to reveal more about our history and society.” The LOCAH Project is also funded by JISC. A brief description from The Archives Hub website states, “The Archives Hub provides a gateway to thousands of the UK’s richest archives. Representing over 180 institutions across the country, the Archives Hub is an effective way to discover unique and often little-known sources to support your research.” An overview of Copac National, Academic, & Specialist Library Catalog (Copac) from the website describes it as “a freely available library catalogue, giving access to the merged online catalogues of many major UK and Irish academic and National libraries, as well as increasing numbers of specialist libraries.Copac has c.36 million records, representing the merged holdings of:  members of the Research Libraries UK (RLUK). This includes the catalogues of the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.  increasing numbers of specialist libraries with collections of national research interest, as well as records for specialist collections held in UK academic libraries.” Copac and the Archives Hub partner with Mimas.