Monday, 8 June 2009

CAIRO Content Model: A noob's overview (Part 1)

I have started to take a look at the CAIRO content model to see how this will be used for futureArch and, later, BEAM. Creation of the model predates me joining the team here at Oxford so it is possible I'll entirely misrepresent the work, so feel free to ask questions or shout! :-)

As there is quite a lot to the content model, I'll cover it in parts as I read them. This is to allow my brain to digest each bit rather than try to cram the entire thing in one go. Hopefully the same idea will help anyone trying to read about it here.

So without further ado, I present Intellectual Entity 01: Collection.

Affectionately known as "I-E-O-1" (the O is really a 0 but we don't say zero), this is described in the documentation as the "descriptive overview of the collection". The metadata here is designed to enable a curator to respond to researcher enquiries and freedom of information requests and also to provide the foundation for the rest of the collection's metadata (which is broken down - as we'll see in future posts - into accessions and items).

IE01 relates to both digital and physical (really need a better word - analogue?) components of the collection, but it is important to note that it does not replace the EAD record created by the archivist - though it links to it. This begs the question: are we currentlly able to link to our EAD records? (I'll need to find out the answer).

Like all of our entities, the object is specified using METS. From my perspective of creating digital object ingest tools, the fields I'm worrying about are (in no particular order):

  • A list of agents, found in the metsHdr element, and recording who did what with this record.
  • An embedded EAD and/or DC and/or MODS record used to describe the collection. Nb. this is NOT the archival EAD, but rather a subset of the given schema (EAD/DC/MODS) to record a minimal amount of metadata about this aspect of the entire collection - archive identifier, country code, dates, formats, scope and access.
  • A link to a further entity (PR01) describing preservation rights of the collection.
There is also room to record a bit of structural information about the collection - the accessions that make it up for example - in the structmap.

That is a fairly sketchy outline of IE01 and there is a lot more to it than that of course, but that is my first impression. I hope it is useful to someone, and useful to me when I've recycled my paper notes! :-)

1 comment:

Susan Thomas said...

Nice overview of IE01 - look forward to seeing something about the other content models. :-)