|Social Networks and Archival Context (United States)
|2010 to present
Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) is an online project for discovering, locating, and using distributed historical records in regard to individual people, families, and organizations.
SNAC is a digital research project that focuses on obtaining records data from various archives, libraries, and museums, so the biographical history of individuals, ancestry, or institutions are incorporated into a single file as opposed to the data being spread throughout different associations, thereby lessen the task of searching various memory organizations to locate the knowledge one seeks.SNAC is used alongside other digital archives to connect related historical records.
One of the project's tools is a radial-graph feature which helps identify a social network of a subject's connections to related historical individuals.
The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), University of Virginia; the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley (SI/UCB), and the California Digital Library (CDL), University of California are the three primary organizations responsible for processing the different elements of the project.
IATH conducts the project and also collect sourcing data from participating institutions, compile record descriptions from MARC catalogs and EAD finding aids, and turned them into EAC-CPF files.
SI/UCB manages the process of identifying and pairing similar EAC-CPF records to create a unifying file that searchable.
CDL utilizes the Extensible Text Framework (XTF) which connects the different sources that make up a single EAC-CPF file back to its primary resources.
With a variety of organizations such as the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, and British Library contributing data to the project, it allows the SNAC team to collect a substantial amount of information available on a subject.
SNAC was established in 2010, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA),California Digital Library (CDL), Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia and the University of California, Berkeley School of Information. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the second phase of the project from 2012 to 2014.
With the U.S. National Endowment for Humanities supplying financing, the first half of the project began, enabling the developers of SNAC to explore data extraction from the file creator and develop a model of the record description system. By gathering the contents found within the record creator, it helps to broaden the knowledge available on the entity biographical history.
With the tremendous progress made in the initial stage, planning for the second half of the project centered on adding more contributors to continue to build a dissimilar of information. To help the SNAC team with the second portion of the project, funding was received from the U.S. Institution for Museum and Library Services while global initiatives was managed by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
In 2010 the Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF) was introduced. The new schema allowed each description to live independently from the record creator it was associated with. With the launch of EAC-CPF, the archival field had a universal standard allowing them to use archival authority records differently.
By using a few archival practices, the descriptions of the creator are isolated from the file itself. Permitting the gathering of information and building connections between varies entities. Helping to increase access to additional knowledge. Below are the integrated rational elements used to create relationships.
Authority Control – Allows you to locate information related to a subject with multiple or alternate spelling associated with its name through various applications.
Biographical/Historical Resources – Details all events, dates, and places associated with the file creator.
Cooperative Authority Control – Permits libraries to preserve, share, and distribute authority information with other libraries.
Flexible Descriptions – Incorporates a list of multiple institutions associated with a collection connecting the record creator to it.
Integrated Access to Cultural Heritage – Through authority records they act as a unifying folder for all of the descriptions tied to the subject. The authority records help lessen the issue of trying to retain and connect each institution description standard to a family, association, or individual.
Social/Historical Context – Professional and social knowledge linked to the subject help connect to other people, families, and institutions creating an integrated summary of them.
Within a record creator are EAC-CPF files to locate and retrieve them, the SNAC team uses Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids and Machine Readable Catalog (MARC) bibliographic catalogs to gather biographical/historical data. After the information is placed an archival authority record featuring the EAC-CPF knowledge is created.
Once the EAC-CPF record is extracted, the data is compared to other similar files and paired together. To ensure the information is compactible, the SNAC team use Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), Union List of Artist Names (ULAN), and Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF) to establish matches between authority records.
To link the knowledge found in one file to a similar one, names, dates, and other identifying aspects are used to draw a comparison to other related records. Links to where the data originated from is also included in the entity file.
By both national and international institutions providing source data, it increases the amount of information tied to one entity while linking it to other relevant subjects. With contributions from various organizations, it helps researchers, librarians, archivists, scholars, and none scholars locate an array of data available on associations, individuals, and families reducing the amount of time spent searching through an assortment of resources.
In library and archival science, digital preservation is a formal endeavor to ensure that digital information of continuing value remains accessible and usable. It involves planning, resource allocation, and application of preservation methods and technologies, and it combines policies, strategies and actions to ensure access to reformatted and "born-digital" content, regardless of the challenges of media failure and technological change. The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time. The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Preservation and Reformatting Section of the American Library Association, defined digital preservation as combination of "policies, strategies and actions that ensure access to digital content over time." According to the Harrod's Librarian Glossary, digital preservation is the method of keeping digital material alive so that they remain usable as technological advances render original hardware and software specification obsolete.
In information science, authority control is a process that organizes information, for example in library catalogs, by using a single, distinct spelling of a name (heading) or a numeric identifier for each topic. The word authority in authority control derives from the idea that the names of people, places, things, and concepts are authorized, i.e., they are established in one particular form. These one-of-a-kind headings or identifiers are applied consistently throughout catalogs which make use of the respective authority file, and are applied for other methods of organizing data such as linkages and cross references. Each controlled entry is described in an authority record in terms of its scope and usage, and this organization helps the library staff maintain the catalog and make it user-friendly for researchers.
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is a standard for encoding descriptive information regarding archival records.
The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) is a research unit of the University of Virginia, USA. Its goal is to explore and develop information technology as a tool for scholarly humanities research. To that end, IATH provide Fellows with consulting, technical support, applications development, and networked publishing facilities. It cultivates partnerships and participate in humanities computing initiatives with libraries, publishers, information technology companies, scholarly organizations, and other groups residing at the intersection of computers and cultural heritage.
Archival science, or archival studies, is the study and theory of building and curating archives, which are collections of documents, recordings and data storage devices.
Digital humanities (DH) is an area of scholarly activity at the intersection of computing or digital technologies and the disciplines of the humanities. It includes the systematic use of digital resources in the humanities, as well as the analysis of their application. DH can be defined as new ways of doing scholarship that involve collaborative, transdisciplinary, and computationally engaged research, teaching, and publishing. It brings digital tools and methods to the study of the humanities with the recognition that the printed word is no longer the main medium for knowledge production and distribution.
The California Digital Library (CDL) was founded by the University of California in 1997. Under the leadership of then UC President Richard C. Atkinson, the CDL's original mission was to forge a better system for scholarly information management and improved support for teaching and research. In collaboration with the ten University of California Libraries and other partners, CDL assembled one of the world's largest digital research libraries. CDL facilitates the licensing of online materials and develops shared services used throughout the UC system. Building on the foundations of the Melvyl Catalog, CDL has developed one of the largest online library catalogs in the country and works in partnership with the UC campuses to bring the treasures of California's libraries, museums, and cultural heritage organizations to the world. CDL continues to explore how services such as digital curation, scholarly publishing, archiving and preservation support research throughout the information lifecycle.
Research data archiving is the long-term storage of scholarly research data, including the natural sciences, social sciences, and life sciences. The various academic journals have differing policies regarding how much of their data and methods researchers are required to store in a public archive, and what is actually archived varies widely between different disciplines. Similarly, the major grant-giving institutions have varying attitudes towards public archival of data. In general, the tradition of science has been for publications to contain sufficient information to allow fellow researchers to replicate and therefore test the research. In recent years this approach has become increasingly strained as research in some areas depends on large datasets which cannot easily be replicated independently.
In archival science and archive administration, appraisal is a process usually conducted by members of the record-holding institution in which a body of records is examined to determine its value for that institution. It also involves determining how long this value will last. The activity is one of the central tasks of an archivist, to determine the archival value of specific records. When it occurs prior to acquisition, the appraisal process involves assessing records for inclusion in the archives. In connection with an institution's collecting policy, appraisal "represents a doorway into the archives through which all records must pass". Some considerations when conducting appraisal include how to meet the record-granting body's organizational needs, how to uphold requirements of organizational accountability, and how to meet the expectations of the record-using community.
Content creation is the act of producing and sharing information or media content for specific audiences, particularly in digital contexts. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, content refers to "something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing or any of various arts" for self-expression, distribution, marketing and/or publication. Content creation encompasses various activities including maintaining and updating web sites, blogging, article writing, photography, videography, online commentary, the maintenance of social media accounts, and editing and distribution of digital media. In a survey conducted by Pew, content creation was defined as "the material people contribute to the online world."
Digital history is the use of digital media to further historical analysis, presentation, and research. It is a branch of the digital humanities and an extension of quantitative history, cliometrics, and computing. Digital history is commonly digital public history, concerned primarily with engaging online audiences with historical content, or, digital research methods, that further academic research. Digital history outputs include: digital archives, online presentations, data visualizations, interactive maps, time-lines, audio files, and virtual worlds to make history more accessible to the user. Recent digital history projects focus on creativity, collaboration, and technical innovation, text mining, corpus linguistics, network analysis, 3D modeling, and big data analysis. By utilizing these resources, the user can rapidly develop new analyses that can link to, extend, and bring to life existing histories
Encoded Archival Context – Corporate bodies, Persons and Families (EAC-CPF) is an XML standard for encoding information about the creators of archival materials – i.e., a corporate body, person or family -- including their relationships to (a) resources and (b) other corporate bodies, persons and families. The goal is to provide contextual information regarding the circumstances of record creation and use. EAC-CPF can be used in conjunction with Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for enhancement of EAD's capabilities in encoding finding aids, but can also be used in conjunction with other standards or for standalone authority file encoding.
Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) is a standard used for describing materials in archives. First adopted by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in March 2004, DACS was updated with a Second Edition in 2013. DACS is broken down into a set of rules used in crafting archival descriptions, and guidelines for creating authority records in archives.
Metadata is "data that provides information about other data", but not the content of the data, such as the text of a message or the image itself. There are many distinct types of metadata, including:
A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, a library without walls, or a digital collection is an online database of digital objects that can include text, still images, audio, video, digital documents, or other digital media formats or a library accessible through the internet. Objects can consist of digitized content like print or photographs, as well as originally produced digital content like word processor files or social media posts. In addition to storing content, digital libraries provide means for organizing, searching, and retrieving the content contained in the collection. Digital libraries can vary immensely in size and scope, and can be maintained by individuals or organizations. The digital content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks. These information retrieval systems are able to exchange information with each other through interoperability and sustainability.
The Getty Vocabulary Program is a department within the Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. It produces and maintains the Getty controlled vocabulary databases, Art and Architecture Thesaurus, Union List of Artist Names, and Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names. They are compliant with ISO and NISO standards for thesaurus construction. The Getty vocabularies are the premiere references for categorizing works of art, architecture, material culture, and the names of artists, architects, and geographic names. They have been the life work of many people and continue to be critical contributions to cultural heritage information management and documentation. They contain terms, names, and other information about people, places, things, and concepts relating to art, architecture, and material culture. They can be accessed online free of charge on the Getty website.
The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).
Archival research is a type of research which involves seeking out and extracting evidence from archival records. These records may be held either in collecting institutions, such as libraries and museums, or in the custody of the organization that originally generated or accumulated them, or in that of a successor body. Archival research can be contrasted with (1) secondary research, which involves identifying and consulting secondary sources relating to the topic of enquiry; and (2) with other types of primary research and empirical investigation such as fieldwork and experiment.
Museum informatics is an interdisciplinary field of study that refers to the theory and application of informatics by museums. It represents a convergence of culture, digital technology, and information science. In the context of the digital age facilitating growing commonalities across museums, libraries and archives, its place in academe has grown substantially and also has connections with digital humanities.
The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems is a "major international research initiative in which archival scholars, computer engineering scholars, national archival institutions and private industry representatives are collaborating to develop the theoretical and methodological knowledge required for the permanent preservation of authentic records created in electronic systems." As a global consortia that works to develop preservation strategies, the project focuses on "developing the knowledge essential to the long-term preservation of authentic records created and/or maintained in digital form and providing the basis for standards, policies, strategies and plans of action capable of ensuring the longevity of such material and the ability of its users to trust its authenticity."