Authority Database Workflow
There lacks a nationwide authority control for digital collections. It, however, does not mean searching digital materials will not need the support of authority mechanism. When more and more materials are moved onto the Web, such a lack will create tremendous problems for the development of online objects in the practices of libraries. DLC's ongoing projects including Ephemeral Cities, Life Events and Institutional Repository will get benefits from such a authority mechanism.
One compromise is to create local authority databases. The databases will contain data of authorities, including personal names, corporate bodies, geographic places, meetings, unique titles … The compilation of such data will be necessitated by the contents of digital collections in the libraries at the University of Florida. The purpose of creating the database is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of online search for digital materials. The earlier to implement the databases, the better to support the work of DLC.
Basically, the proposed database will accommodate authority data useful for DLC projects. It is connectable to the tracking database in DLC and cataloging utilities such as Aleph (and possibly OCLC).
The input of the data could be done by involving personal efforts as well as by running programs to automatically extract data from appropriate sources, such as the technology of data mining. Therefore, it could be joint-efforts by DLC and the Cataloging and Metadata Department (CatMet). In the future, we may consider establishing external collaborations with existing databases to exchange data and concepts.
The output of the data could include: 1) embedding into metadata schemes, 2) converting into flat files, 3) loading onto Aleph (or OCLC), and 4) other potential uses. The output could be facilitated by SQL queries and programming languages. Mark Sullivan in DLC will help with the programming in the future.
Haiyun Cao will work, with helps from both DLC and CatMet, on collecting information about technology of data mining and the knowledge base for data mining. So far Encoded Archival Contents (EAC) is condidered the proper metadata standard for the authority database. The database will be a relational database that supports queries. It will be easy to be converted into MARC format. And most importantly, it will have to contain all necessary data needed for the development of digital collections and the retrieval of digital materials.
Currently, the development is at its very early stage. Upon the collection of necessary background information, Haiyun will talk to colleagues in DLC and CatMet and prepare for the conceptual, and then physical, design of the database.