Fedora User’s Conference 2006

I hate it when this happens…I just wrote a fairly lengthy post on this morning's introductory session for the Fedora User's Conference at UVa and when I hit save, the text went away. I'm going to try to recreate my thoughts again and keep saving. So, if something looks incomplete, it probably is 😉

This morning's keynote speaker was Thorny Staples who, almost in passing, hit on something I thought was quite exciting. They are in the test phase of using Fedora to maintain their repository of student newspapers. Knowing some of the complexities of serials cataloging (or at least hearing Mack and Julie complain about it), I thought their approach made more sense than anything else I've heard.

Essentially student papers are two things, text and images. What they're doing is taking images of the newspapers and creating Fedora objects along with TEI markup of the newspaper (as seperate, yet related objects). These objects are part of an aggregated object (a paper), which is part of another aggregated object (a volumn), which is part of another aggregated object (a serial). Because objects can be aware of other objects, the metadata in the TEI header associates images and text to serials (and everything else that's related).

There was also some discussion on the boundaries of what data Fedora is indended to deal with, and where other technologies need to pick up. Thorny used the example of a satellite scanning the earch and as it's doing so, dumping this informatin into a Fedora repository. Disseminators would then allow users to view this data as it's being processed. After some additional back and forth, the conclusion was make that actual transactional data is not really the domain of Fedora, but the resulting information from that transactional data is. This is a subtle distinction, but an important one to make. 

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One Comment on “Fedora User’s Conference 2006”

  1. Julie Conlee Says:

    Serial ties that bind. While Wayne and I sometimes speak at cross purposes, I believe that the basic concept of creating relational ties for components contained within individual units has been addressed in traditional cataloging. What makes this use of Fedora discussed by Thorny Staples interesting and exciting is thinking about the question of how we adapt or change traditional thought when a digital representation and the manipulation of the components is more flexible than the original paper version. It’s a new twist on the idea of “In” Analytics: Definition from Bibliographic Formats and Standards “If a separate bibliographic record is necessary for a component, you may prepare an “in” analytic entry. A component is a bibliographic unit that is physically contained in another bibliographic unit (host item) in such a way that the host item must be identified to locate the component (e.g. one article in a serial, one chapter or paper in a book or one band on a sound recording).”
    In this new representation, does a digital version of a photograph become a “detached copy” and defy “in” analytic cataloging conventions, or is the metadata for the photograph dependent on the link to the host item? Does the whole concept of “in” analytics fall apart in the digital world?


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