Associate Director, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
University of Virginia
California Digital Library
Coalition for Networked Information
This session will feature two related archival identity management projects: Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) and Building a National Archival Authorities Infrastructure. SNAC (2010-2014), a project to create a test bed of archival authority records and demonstrate their potential for user discovery, comprises a three-part process. First, personal, corporate, and family names (and related historical data) are extracted from finding aids (descriptions of archival records). Next, these names and data are assembled into contextual authority records, which are compared against each other, and against authority and historical data from other sources (e.g. VIAF and DBpedia). The resulting set of authority records serves as the basis of a prototype interface that provides integrated access (through the names and descriptions of people) to related but distributed primary and secondary resources. By virtue of the connections displayed between authority records and related sources, the prototype also provides a visualization of the historical social networks in which the people depicted lived and worked.
Among the primary objectives of the Building a National Archival Authorities Infrastructure (2011-2013) project is to transform the groundwork completed by SNAC into a sustainable national archival authorities cooperative program that is similar to, but distinct from, the Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO). The project has convened a series of meetings comprising archivists, librarians, scholars, and allied professionals, with the goal of developing a blueprint for the cooperative. The emerging consensus from these meetings is that the National Archives and Records Administration will host the cooperative, collaborating with the archival and allied communities in its governance, development, and maintenance.