EuropeanaTech, Europeana Professional’s, community of experts, has been organising different Task Forces to develop specific technical issues affecting suppliers and developers of Europeana's network. These task forces or work teams are usually made up of a group of collaborators from the Europeana network. The Polymath Virtual Library of the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation, through Xavier Agenjo Bullón, director of its Projects, has taken part in these task forces.
The first of these was called “Hierarchical Objects” and took place between January and February 2012. Until now, Europeana used the ESE (Europeana Semantic Elements) metadata that allowed the description of monographic type data. However, the network was growing with a multitude of diverse registers and those that included relationships between different levels could not be represented. Europeana created EDM (Europeana Data Model) for this; relations between levels could now be represented.
This task force is developed in this context, focused on studying the hierarchical relationships between records, typical in records of archives among others.
The Ignacio Larramendi Foundation participated in this task force in this way, through the study of its Montiano Family Archive, which already had a mapping of both bibliographics and authorities in the formats MARC 21/MARCXML and EAD/ISAD(G)/ISAAR (CPF), as well as DC and ESE/EDM..
Through the study of the records and the hierarchy of this Family Archive, Xavier Agenjo, in the document provided to Europeana, pointed out that the presentation of the descriptive levels has a problem of usability of the interface, which is often solved with hierarchical trees that show all levels and which is not usually very useful; visually it would be more interesting, for example, to offer the information in different parts of the screen.
The document recalls the importance of contextual information, contained in the descriptions of families, entities and individuals, when completing the information of the documents and levels themselves; all of them are authority records that can be encoded in EDM through SKOS, and that receive great attention in the Foundation's Virtual Libraries, pioneer in Spain in the description of authorities with the semantic Web through the use of Linked Open Data (LOD).
The study of the Archive shows other conclusions, such as the need to search by all levels or the edm and dc properties used. Further information can be found in this document.
EDM mappings refinements and extensions
Between September 2013 and January 2014, the «EDM mappings refinements and extensions» task force took place, the second participation of the Polymath Virtual Library in these work teams. As the name suggests, the purpose of this working group was to map, adjust and extend the Europeana Data Model (EDM), a metadata format used by the European aggregator. In doing so, Europeana aimed to minimise the loss of the original metadata by converting it to EDM, as this new metadata model allows for the inclusion of relationships between different levels, as discussed above.
In this case, the Polymath Virtual Library participated with the mapping of MARC 21 (Update 17) to EDM (version 5.2.4) format, in bibliographic, authority and copy records. As indicated in the report Mappings from MARC 21 to EDM, signed by Xavier Agenjo and Francisca Hernández –DIGIBÍSconsultant–, the mapping work also serves as a DC or DRIVER mapping, which reflects the record fields in MARC21-RDA to date (2013), and also establishes some standardisation processes for dates and types. In this case the Francisco Sánchez, the Sceptic (1550-1623) Virtual Library was used for the study.
The final work of this task force should benefit Europeana's different data providers by helping to ensure good metadata interoperability and there is quality metadata present in Europeana.
As a result, the need to coordinate and group the mappings, adjustments and extensions of each and every one of Europeana's suppliers, as well as the related projects, was observed together with the need to continue this joint work.