Where Have All the Collections Gone?

Abstract

The Open Language Archives Community (OLAC) aggregator currently compiles 443,217 records from 65 providers. Participating archives each provide Dublin Core metadata via an OAI feed.

Based on the needs of both linguists and language community members, Wasson et al. (2016) note that usability requirements are not met by language-archive records. Burke and Zavalina (2019, 2020) established that record composition for the free-text description field is used in various ways across the three archives they evaluated. Some of these free-text description fields indicated that the “item” was in fact more like a “collection”. However, collection records should have a different composition from individual artifact records because they each have distinct scopes. With this in mind, different record types should have distinct evaluation criteria. Unexplored in the literature are how record providers are utilizing distinct collection records.

The current study explores the nature of linguistic and anthropological language-focused collection records in contrast to artifact records by investigating the use of the DCMIType attribute “collection”. Across the OLAC records, 850 use the DCMIType “collection” and only 7 providers even use the “collection” DCMIType. By using the DCMIType “collection” and relating artifact records with collection records via the Dublin Core “hasPart’’ property, more about the original context of the collection is transferred from the host institution to the OLAC aggregator. When properly displayed this can lead to increased utility in browsing environments.

Title
Where Have All the Collections Gone?
Publication
Poster presented at the 15th Annual Society of American Archivists Research Forum.
Date
July 2021

Citable as

Paterson III, Hugh J. (2021) “Where Have All the Collections Gone?” Poster presented at the 15th Annual Society of American Archivists Research Forum. 21 July, 2021.

Two Minute Video Introduction

Abstract Bibliography

Burke & Zavalina (2020)
& (). Descriptive richness of free‐text metadata: A comparative analysis of three language archives. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 57(1). https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.429
Burke & Zavalina (2019)
& (). Exploration of information organization in language archives. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 56(1). 364–367. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.30
Wasson, Holton & Roth (2016)
, & (). Bringing User-Centered Design to the Field of Language Archives. Language Documentation & Conservation, 10. 641–681. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24721
Zavalina (2011)
(). Contextual Metadata in Digital Aggregations: Application of Collection-Level Subject Metadata and Its Role in User Interactions and Information Retrieval. Journal of Library Metadata, 11(3-4). 104–128. https://doi.org/10.1080/19386389.2011.629957
Image of Poster

Tags:
Hugh Paterson III
Hugh Paterson III
Creative

My research interests include typological patterns in articulatory phonetics; User Experience design in language tools; and graph theory applied to language and linguistics.

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