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This section documents the second stage of the Connecting the Dots project, which we call "Manner of Belonging: Interstitial Description of Dr. Johnson's Circle" - or MOB:ID. The title of this stage is derived from two definitions from Samuel Johnson's Dictionary that relate to the work of this project:

  • Relation: Manner of belonging to any person or thing.
  • Network: Any thing reticulated or decussated, at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections.

This continuation of our project will focus on adapting and/or developing a controlled vocabulary to characterize relationships between entities (corporate bodies, persons, families) and between entities and resources.  We will use the relations documented in our existing EAC-CPF records for Samuel Johnson and his circle as our test data.

Our Connecting the Dots Library Lab identified the need for controlled vocabulary to express more nuanced relationships than can be expressed currently within EAC-CPF.  The immediate benefit of this project will be richer EAC-CPF at Harvard and Yale, as we develop standards both institutions can use. Furthermore, this project will provide a critical contribution to the ongoing development of archival description.  The use of Linked Data in archival metadata, an emerging area with exciting possibilities for transforming researcher discovery and access to primary resources, requires a rich ontology for expressing archival relationships.  The continuation of our project will add to the work of others who have begun to engage with this challenge--in particular, this project will help inform the conceptual model for archival description that the Committee on Best Practices and Standards of the International Council of Archives (ICA) will be developing over the next four years, a model aimed at promoting consistency among various archival descriptive standards.

Houghton Library, Harvard University: Susan Pyzynski, Melanie Wisner, Suzanne Sutherland, Tricia Patterson
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University: Ellen Doon, Michael Rush, Mark Custer

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