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Building Linked Data Archives

The final speaker in this session at DHA 2012 is Antonina Lewis, who begins by highlighting the question of entities in describing linked data. Along with additional issues, such as data storage and retention, they raise a range of key questions for the creators, custodians, and curators of linked data.

Importantly, interpretation of data requires context; this is especially true for collections of coded data, where coding schemes and the various provenance of data sources are also crucially important for meaningful interpretation.

Antonina herself works on a rich archive of the source material used for Australian opinion polls from the 1970s to the 1990s, existing across a wide range of print and digital formats (where ‘digital’ means floppy disks!) and containing a very diverse range of data which can hardly be understood without the support of the original opinion researchers (which the project – whose name I didn’t catch, unfortunately – does have, happily).

Michael Jones now takes over, and notes that the aim of the archive is to be valuable for non-scholarly users, too. It is an initiative of the eScholarship Research Centre at the University of Melbourne, and builds on the archival infrastructure available there, using a range of standards for digital archives.