Core Linked Data Interest Group

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Purpose: Provides a forum for discussion of issues related to Linked Library Data and the role of library metadata in the Semantic web. Goals include: raising awareness of Semantic Web technologies, such as the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the use of URIs as identifiers within bibliographic descriptions; promoting research on linked data challenges, such as domain modeling and vocabulary selection and design; and informing the ongoing development of existing metadata standards for Libraries, Archives and Cultural Heritage Institutions.

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On These Grounds: Call for Testing Partners

  • 1.  On These Grounds: Call for Testing Partners

    Posted Mar 30, 2021 04:01 PM
    Edited by Emily Baldoni Mar 30, 2021 04:01 PM

    On These Grounds (OTG), a collaborative project dedicated to creating a shared approach to collecting, describing, and organizing data from archival collections that document the historical role of higher education institutions in the injustices and legacies of slavery, is seeking four partner institutions to test a linked data model focused on describing the lived experiences of enslaved people that are represented in those institutions' archival holdings.

    Summary Details:


    Over the past decade, many institutions of higher education have begun to publicly examine and embrace their historical roles in the injustices and legacies of slavery. So far, however, there is no common, shared method for collecting, organizing, and describing historical data from the rich archival holdings of all these institutions. The absence of a common, shared approach to documenting, describing, and organizing the data derived from the archival records relating these histories limits researchers' understanding of the lives and experiences of the enslaved across these institutional contexts, retards search and discovery across collections, and constrains the possibilities of a broader analysis of American educational institutions' historical ties to slavery.

    Therefore, a core team of experienced digital history experts, archivists, and historians of slavery from Michigan State University (MSU), the University of Virginia (UVA), and Georgetown University (GU) has, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, undertaken On These Grounds (OTG), a project

    1. to create, evaluate, revise, and disseminate a LOD ontology focused on adequately describing the lived experiences of those enslaved individuals who labored in bondage at higher education institutions that are represented in those institutions' archival holdings;
    2. to create a set of resources, both descriptive guidance and support materials, that will enable other colleges and universities to undertake this work;
    3. and, to both aggregate the resulting data in the service of increasing the discoverability of this information and of fostering new scholarship.

    Given the goals of the OTG project, we are seeking four colleges or universities that have an institutional history of involvement with slavery to test the viability of the alpha version of the OTG Event Ontology to adequately describe the events depicted in archival materials. Successful Collaborating Partner teams should be composed of an archivist or librarian and an historian familiar with the institution's history with these events. In selecting Collaborating Partners, the OTG team will try to identify groups with records that include events not accounted for in the initial testing base from the Core Partner institutions. The Collaborating Partner teams must be willing to implement a testing protocol with their holdings over a nine-month period, and to provide the OTG group with full and constructive feedback about their experiences with the data model. Applicants need not have an infrastructure in place to publish linked open data. At the end of the testing period, the Collaborating Partners will have a model for moving forward with this type of descriptive work for a full set of records. Published data will be aggregated and openly shared to offer a macro-level view of these events across institutions.

    Selected Collaborating Partners will receive:

    • The OTG Event Ontology alpha v.0.2 to test with institutional archival holdings     
    • A testing protocol and feedback collection instrument
    • Supporting materials, including documentation and suggested descriptive practices for events, people, and places
    • $10,000 award consisting of two $5,000 payments (Summer 2021 & Winter 2022) to support staff time or wage work to perform testing
    • For those who do not already have the infrastructure to create and publish linked data, OTG will provide Resource Templates and documentation to facilitate getting up and running with Omeka S quickly and affordably.

    Collaborating Partners will be supported by a two-day virtual launch meeting with the Lead Project Partners in July 2021. After the launch meeting, the Collaborating Partners will join in an ongoing community of practice sharing their experiences using the descriptive model. Finally, all of the partners will come together for a summative virtual meeting to offer final feedback on their testing experiences.

    For additional details on requirements, application format, and evaluation criteria, please see the full call for participation at:

    Emily Baldoni
    Metadata Librarian, Digital and Special Collections
    Georgetown University