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EAD  April 2002

EAD April 2002

Subject:

Re: Intended scope of the EAD (2nd try at sending)

From:

Pete Johnston <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 29 Apr 2002 17:47:37 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

Clay Reading said:

> If you're looking for a *much* less cumbersome approach to
> providing access to collections (or an entire agrregation of
> records ala <eadgrp>), it sounds like you should look into
> the Research Support Libraries Programme Collection
> Description (RSLP CD < http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/rslp/
> >).  If you're questioning the extra functionality and
> complexity of EAD -- much of which comes from the encoding of
> container lists -- then RSLP CD might be for you, because it
> mostly focuses on collection-level data.  It uses both
> qualified and unqualified Dublin Core in RDF properties, and
> appears to be closely aligned with ISAD(G) in terms of its
> structure.
>
> After looking this over last year, I came away very impressed
> with it and wanting to know more about it.  I believe one of
> the heads of this project, Pete Johnston, is on this list and
> might be able to give more information (and correct any
> misinformation I likely just gave you!).

Oh! Did someone mention my name? ;-) Sorry about the slow response to
this, but I've been catching up with a backlog of mail.

First, to give credit where it is due, I should note that the
research/development work on the RSLP Collection Description project,
which produced the RSLP CD Schema, was done by my colleague, Andy
Powell, before I joined UKOLN.

But one of the hats I do wear at UKOLN is that of the Collection
Description Focus

http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/cd-focus/

and as part of that work, we try to offer support to implementers of the
RSLP CD Schema.

As for correcting misinformation, I don't think that's necessary! As
Clay suggests (and thanks for picking this up, by the way), the RSLP CD
Schema was/is built on a data model which takes a very broad view of the
notion of a "collection" (an aggregate of physical and/or digital
items), and the schema was designed to provide a means of creating
collection-level descriptions which are high-level, simple and broadly
aligned with the conventions used in other metadata/resource description
initiatives, particularly the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.

The RSLP CD Schema is designed to create what the data model calls
"unitary" descriptions (or unitary finding aids) - descriptions of the
aggregate as a whole - rather than "hierarchical" descriptions which
incorporate information about both the aggregate as a whole and the
components or items which make up the aggregate, which EAD facilitates
through its nesting of <c> elements.

The RSLP CD Schema is _not_ intended as a replacement for richer
standards like EAD. It may still have some value for EAD implementers,
as a complement to EAD, for sharing very simple "top-level" descriptions
of archival "collections", particularly in a cross-domain context. To
this end I made a stab at a mapping from ISADG and EAD to the RSLP CD
Schema:

http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/rslp/isadg/crosswlk.html

which I think I posted to this list a few months back, and which I
actually need to revisit and "tweak" slightly in the light of some
comments received.

For some more background on the RSLP model and schema, you might be
interested in a D-Lib article by Andy and comrades:

http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september00/powell/09powell.html

towards the end of which they suggest that

> it should be seen as a schema for making relatively simple collection
> descriptions in a wide variety of contexts - a "Dublin Core" for
collection
> description.

I must emphasise that the RSLP CD Schema has no status in the DCMI....
However, (... quick switch of hats...), within the DCMI, a working group
is looking at the creation of an application profile for
collection-level description:

http://dublincore.org/groups/collections/

and Andy and I put forward a proposal

http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0202&L=dc-collections&F=&
S=&P=60

to use a subset of the RSLP CD Schema properties in this context. After
some initial comments, there hasn't been a great deal of response to
that proposal recently, and if anyone is interested in this work, then
I'd encourage you to join the dc-collections mailing list (details at
the URL above) and contribute your ideas.

Cheers

Pete

-------
Pete Johnston
Collection Description Focus
UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
tel: +44 (0)1225 383619    fax: +44 (0)1225 386838
mailto:[log in to unmask]
http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/cd-focus/

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