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Subject:

Re: SHIC

From:

Jon Pratty <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Museums Computer Group <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 2 May 2012 17:33:29 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (227 lines)

Nick has touched on my pet subject, so instead of grinding on endlessly about mapping vocabs and how and why you'd do it, here are two links. 

Link one is from The Guardian and features the brilliant Martin Belam [@currybet] writing about how the publisher offers tags [from a structured vocab] to journalists to help them situate stories correctly in the paper, and correctly in relation [semantically] to each other in the online publication. Fascinating stuff, and of course, most other major publishers do this too. Clearly, there's relevance here to how or why we might want to make relationship-making [between collection objects or the NC] easy for all levels of staff in GLAMs. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/info/developer-blog/2011/jan/10/tags-are-magic-1 [it's in four parts] 

Secondly, there was a great London Semantic Web Group meeting at the BBC last month with some superb speakers. I loved the thinking from Google's Dan Brickley who runs their Scheme.org project, which is all about linking and mapping via language [vocabs etc] and partnerships with other major search vendors rather than mechanical connections. That's a mega simplification and probably a total misrepresentation, so watch Dan's presentation here and see for yourself. Adrian Stevenson did a superb job writing up the meeting, by the way... [Read his twitter feed - @adrianstevenson] 

http://archiveshub.ac.uk/linkinglives/

By the way - I think some National Curriculum is better than none; the old will surely map to the new [if it ever appears] so working with the old one provides a useful spine to help work out where things fit. 

All the best
Jon

Jon Pratty
Relationship Manager, Digital and Creative Economies
Arts Council England
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-----Original Message-----
From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nick Poole
Sent: 02 May 2012 17:51
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: SHIC

Dear Michael,

Many thanks for this. So, the full story is...

SPECTRUM Procedures contain a number of points which essentially say 'go and find a consistent, structured vocabulary and use it'.

For a long time, MDA provided some vocabularies in hard copy because that was the format we had them in. Some time later, after the invention of steam and the diode, we decided to present them in SGML and then as HTML documents.

It became apparent that with the age of connected Collections Management Systems, the ideal would be to provide XML/SKOSified versions of these vocabularies (where available) as a Web Service, so that people running systems could make use of them from within their system. Some systems have done this already of course, making things like the Dutch version of the Art & Architecture thesaurus dynamically available.

The intention was to achieve the benefit of semantic interoperability (or at least to improve semantic consistency) by enabling multiple documentation systems to share a common core set of ontologies.

There we foundered - there are pretty much no funders who are at the stage where they would invest in the collective benefits of shared vocbaularies (and Jon, if you say the Arts Council will, I'll be round your house with a project proposal in a heartbeat).

At this point Knowledge Integration stepped up and, being the knowledgeable and helpful people they are, offered us the use of their Lexaurus Bank tool (and if anyone on list is looking for a best-of-breed Vocab Management System, I can't recommend it highly enough).

The Social History Curators Group then provided funding to develop an electronic version of SHIC. This is essentially what is up on the Culture Grid Vocab Bank.

So, to answer your question, if you want your Collections Management System to integrate SHIC, I suggest you approach your SPECTRUM Partner and ask them. It's unlikely to be proportionate for one client, but it might be a worthwhile development for many. Similarly, while you're talking to them, it might be useful to talk about what other vocabularies are available for your use. There's a meeting at the OpenCulture conference to discuss the roadmap for these systems, so it would be great if people attending that could raise the question of Terminology.

The vision is that when you power up your CMS, you will use a combination of locally-derived and common ontologies to describe your objects, records or images. These ontologies will have been pulled in from one or more web services (we're not the only ones in this game!) with the concomitant benefits for semantic interoperability, co-referencing and other linked data goodness.

Revising SHIC is not in our gift - it depends on the original Committee giving SHCG the green light to do it. Given that we're almost a year into this discussion, I imagine it might take another year for the revisions. 

Part of the problem is that there is no money in Terminology, even though everyone depends on it. If anyone has any smart ideas about how we can resource it, I'd be happy to accelerate the work!

Hope this is useful by way of context!

All best,

Nick

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

-----Original Message-----
From:         Michael Comiskey <[log in to unmask]>
Sender:       Museums Computer Group <[log in to unmask]>
Date:         Wed, 2 May 2012 15:57:36 
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:     Museums Computer Group <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: SHIC

Hi Nick

This brings up the main question for those of us running Collections Management Systems; where do we get a machine readable version that we can load?

Do we go to you, the SHCG, or back to our CMS vendor, sorry, Spectrum Partner?

Also, do you have any timeline for revising SHIC?

Michael


Michael Comiskey
Systems Manager

National Museums Northern Ireland
Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down, BT18 0EU

T - 028 9039 5152
M - 07917 544277
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www.nmni.com


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-----Original Message-----
From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nick Poole
Sent: 01 May 2012 17:52
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: SHIC

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the prompt! Yes, Collections Trust and the Social History Curators Group have been working to develop an electronic version of SHIC that can be used both as a reference tool but also as a machine-readable vocabulary.

In fact (whispers) our partners Knowledge Integration have already integrated the current version of SHIC into the Culture Grid Vocab Bank
- go to http://culturegrid.lexaurus.net/culturegrid/browse and scroll down. You can browse the structure, and also download the vocabulary as an XML document. The longer-term aim of the Vocab Bank is to provide web-service access to a range of SKOSified vocabularies, but the interest in this from museums has been pretty muted - I'd love to know whether there is an appetite for this stuff before we go ahead and invest in developing it!

SHCG's aim is to use this current version to develop an updated version.
The original SHIC Working Party do retain an interest in its development, and we are currently negotiating how best to take the development of SHIC forward.

I hope this helps, and I'd welcome views on the next steps with the Vocab Bank!

Nick



-----Original Message-----
From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard Light
Sent: 01 May 2012 17:42
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: SHIC

Robin,

Yes, I have a version of SHIC which I have lovingly reconstructed from various sources (with considerable help from Stuart, who I am sure /is /still out there), and which now lives happily in a Modes data file as a set of XML records.  That's the good news.

However, I am not sure what the status of this version is, and whether I would be free to let you have a copy.  Collections Trust and the SHCG have been expressing an interest in SHIC of late, and of course the original SHIC Working Party might still want to have a say.  There is the idea of SKOS-ifying SHIC.  Would anyone care to comment?

At a practical level, would a dump of SHIC as an XML document be of use to you?

Richard

On 01/05/2012 17:26, Robin Patel wrote:
> Hello All
>
> Second time poster, long time lurker.
>
> Very quick question: Does anyone have a digital version of SHIC they 
> could identify and (potentially) lead us to? We are in the midst of a 
> retrospective documentation project and, apart from developing our own

> in-house classification, we feel that SHIC fits the bill for the types

> of collections we are dealing with. I have a hardcopy 2nd ed. here, 
> but I would rather have something searchable without resorting to the 
> pitfalls of OCR.
>
> I have contacted Stuart via his website, but I fear that email is 
> longer active...
>
> Many Thanks :-)
>
> Robin
>
>

--
*Richard Light*

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