Title:Authority File Information as Global Access Point to Cultural Heritage Data: Some New Concepts
Authors:Hans-Jörg Lieder, Jutta Weber
Publication:MW2001: Museums and the Web 2001

Several national or international projects and co-operations in Europe (e.g. COVAX, ONE-2, AHDS) are dealing with cultural heritage data from libraries, archives and museums with a focus on homogenous access to the required information based on formal search and retrieval criteria or a formal approach to representing that data using standard technology trends (Z39.50, XML). Other projects aim at solving the problem of harmonizing information retrieval of data by using metadata based on the peculiarity of the material in question (e.g. MALVINE). The utilization of authority file information (AFI) in the above mentioned activities is lacking.

It is widely accepted that the national and international sharing of AFI is a suitable means for reducing the costs of cataloguing work in libraries, archives and museums as well as the costs for biographical research work undertaken in scientific projects. At the same time the importance of allowing the preservation of national, local or rule-based differences in AFI is generally appreciated (cf. e.g. Report of the IFLA UBCIM Working Group on Minimal Level Authority Records and ISADN).

Some issues to be discussed:

  • What exactly is authority file information?
  • Problems of national usage
  • Problems of international usage
  • Problems of quantity
  • Problems of interoperability
  • Consequences of the above.

Developing new concepts

  • creation of a model architecture for a distributed search system harvesting existing AFI.
  • implementation of the model architecture in a specific application of cultural heritage data (MALVINE)
  • automatic creation of a highly relevant common (European) name authority file by the execution of a user query.

Future possibilities

  • transferal of the model to specific applications within one type of institution (e.g. museum)
  • utilization of the model in a cross domain context of cultural heritage data (e.g. common access to data from libraries, archives and museums
  • implications of the creation and availability of \"highly relevant\" sections of AFI:
  • obligations involved
  • benefits
  • for big players
  • for small players

Learning Objectives

It is hoped that the workshop participants will gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of using and sharing authority file information both within and beyond the area of museums.

Related Readings





Report of the IFLA UBCIM Working Group on Minimal Level Authority Records and ISADN: