IS 298A Week 8 Class Notes

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Policy, metadata archival/rkkg piece of

It may be that it addresses all/several areas simultaneously

Common themes cutting swaths across

A lot of diff areas of engagement and how we may contribute


Other kinds of questions in the info field, too

Able to articulate the big challenges and source them back to who’s saying it

A set of rsch questions that would doable, measurable, incremental


Turkish records – French recordkeeping practices

Aztec/Spanish –

Interesting to look at intersection and what happens over time


McKemmish – co-creatorship; Acland, Ward, Reed (in Australia, funded through academic-professional partnership)


Describing records in context in the continuum: the Australian Rkkg Metadata Schema


Business in this case is transactionality

Where does the archiving world end? Duranti, looking at organizational

Records continuum model, replace business with activity – takes in all that scope

In continuum world view, it’s a global worldview


Of course the ppl who put it together, come from a background

Very broad scope, but instantiations come down very narrowly/specifically


Entity-relationship model used in description. This was the first. Now ER model being appied to intl standards for archival description as well. Powerful way of relating the biggest things record, people, theory, processes

Showed the many kinds of relationship bt the major areas of the preoccupation, not just the document


They did a lot of mapping vs existing metadata sets

Looking if every metadata element is mapped is a test of validity


Test of validity


Other readings are the implementations of this

Their definition of metadata is broad

Metadata has become a term like information

It’s everywhere

Parallel dimension of metadata. It’s everywhere, and takes on everypossible shape


Most of work until this was record-centric/passive records

They come up with idea of active records

Dynamics that need ever-broader and richer

Records have agency and contingency

Any record looked at at any moment by diff ppl is different

They have consequences, too. They can make things happen.

Records continuum thinking

Standards relating to what they do, then the differentiate:

Records of continuing value (archives)

Records of business/everything à records of continuing value are archives

Metadata can happen when records are created and when put in archive, and post-custodial

Project has promised 6 things: Semantic Web included


All standardized documentation created in the context of business and social activity – only standardized! Problematic

RDF, Semantic Web

Circular reasoning – feature of deductive modeling

Metadata is standardized – Australia -- they are known for leading in the standards area, so they are saying metadata is standardized

Layers of standards designed to interact with each other. Requires standards at every layer

Spent a lot of time in the 90s establishing laws, policies, standards

Notion of interoperability comes into play

In the end you’re talking abt an info world where manual processing is unsustainable—need to have standards to do this. But when you look at local systems, it breaks down.

Power struggle – depends on how inclusive you want to be. Do you are that it doesn’t work in some places?

Change mgmt. ppl are invested in their organic methods and then something is imposed

Making of standards is a huge point of power

Negotiation dealing with conflicts of interest of different stakeholders

Like I talked about how this usually becomes a hybrid

What value does the choice has

After a standard is set, is there still a negotiation? I think so, but Xiaomi doesn’t

To me, it’s an implementation issue.

Interesting negotiation bt cultures in making the standards

Implemented in various degrees of rigor

Another negotiation in local issues


Clever rkkg project, no matter how much standardized, haven’t enough

Standards worl =d full of negotiations

Th eppl who develop standards are usually the most powerful, but not always (ie software, if they have market share, they can simply not adhere to intl standards


Assumption of the authors

Identify categorize label the metadata that supports thru time and space no matter where and when (I think this is crazy)


M.T. need a dynamic method of dealing with different metadata environments

Very much like ii


Diff bt archival description and metadata – big fight over that


new tech – continuum thinking is when metadata becomes useful

metadata is more than archival description

includes archival description

anne: data abt records

them: data about data

archival descry is a value-added TKTK that is created subsequent to the record

duranti – only a human can do that meaning making

some value-added, some naturally occurring

generates a trace of the processing

MT some description happens at time of record creation


Their descriptive system entity-relationship-based model

Separate it our a description of history of admin materials to the materials themselves. 1960s manually, now automated

ERM establishes context – what is the process that was embedded

Everything that’s not the record itself in the context


Fonds to differentiate from other places ??


Relating this work to other research projects










the way they’ve done this translates to diplomatics contexts in terms of juridical, TKTK, provenancial, (historical—not captured here)


authentic records of social and org activities. Mandates and warrant overlap

literary warrant – what are the ext and internal reqs for doing sthg in a particular way – diff from cataloging

archival tends to come top down, catalog tends to be bottom up


MT: what is the intersection bt decision making theory and how metadata systems are designed? Is dm analysis considered in the design?


The record doesn’t necessarily reflect the decision making process


Can you use standardized metadata to deal with future use of the records?




then, entity switch—it can apply at any specified level of aggregation, from indiv transaction to the societal purpose it serves


sthg set high up can be inherited through layers down


multiple views of metadata

taxonomy of relationships bt entity types


MT: so what happens when new types of entities emerge


Description as they move thru time, interpretation changes as events unfold, no implementation plan, though

Gives a model of continuous redescription – some say social media is a method to redescribe over time

RDF and object role modeling

Set up the work they’re doing within the RDF context, RDF compliant

RKMS conceived as implementation neutral

Persistently associated with a data object

all sorts of research abt how to do that. Does the metadata sit inside or outside the document

if a record is validated by its own metadata, need to be able to access the metadata at the time it was created

madras method to preserve access to original metadata?

Small corpus of ppl who work in this areas, tend to work on clusters of projects together

Standardized relationships


Lots of unstandardized metadata

Oral: ritual becomes metadata


These authors are very standards-driven vs local traditions

Tight or loose standards

Bottom up vs top down

Local conventions vs industry best practices

You have a routine process that generates predictable kinds of metadata to you, but when you’re no longer around to explain, that system may break down (TKTK)


Is this type of modeling considered a research method?

Systems analysis in context of business decomposing a biz process into components

Can this be validated? It’s a division of the world into categories

How do you compare to the systems development method?

First, conceptual development, then diff ways of modeling

Big prob in archival world is figuring out entities and properties (diplomatics) to begin modeling for metadata schema

The bases are no longer tangible, trying to understand how they manifest

Then can design scheme to exploit

This is conceptual modeling

Can’t use empirical instantian to test it

They’ve done the same as ppl in diplomatics world

Cannot do systems design work without defining basic constructs of your work

MT this conceptual work has to come first

Have to test the underlying assumptions

The second we try to get our world to interact with different social, cultural , political structure, “universal” presumptions no longer work

All standards are suboptimal bc they have to be negotiated

MT is there a tension bt believing to have best standards within one area rather than suboptimal global standards?


Xiaomi: Can’t test but can have case study to validate values you’ve hypotethesized


Morgan – Evans coming up with a way  to ascribe value to how useful a standard is


Now this framework is being integrated with the international standards

RDF and semantic web – huge!!!!

Ferber, Mark, EAD is going that way now

Evans 1

MADRAS set up to analyze registry/relationships bt metadata systems

Conceptual first, then test t in various schemes


Hybrid bt life cycle and records continuum

Morgan: Short cycles of experimentation can be problematic

Anne: Form of tool development; operationalizing concepts, we make choices of what to include. When you build the system, it has to work

Reference software system – initial standard by which


Research question: e-records, which metadata standards should we implement, multiple? How do they talk to each other, no implementation nor standard is perfect this is a system to help you walk through those decisions

Moving images – 5 or 6 diffent way to describe material using description

Those decisions make a difference



Refer to timeline of different description and metadata schemes

Timeline shows dates of first releases



Th tool is designed to address particular domains


Evans 2

Situated within e-records


MT: Forward-looking vs retrospective description as a concept for my paper?


MT: the approach bt theory and practice – user versus power/mgmt.


Findings are in Anne’s handout

Still semantic imprecision that made it difficult to implement


Should use more metadata, not less – find ways to capture or create metadata automatically


Clever project experimental


OAIS model structure on which many archival systems are based

Data that’s ingested on the lefdt, goes into a black box with a lot of stuff happening, on the right is where consumer comes along and submits a query

Vision is that the system should be able to parse the query are parse the metadata to customize the output to the user

This may be what ii was missing. You need addtl metadata that then can be parsed out


Associations individual objects and their relationships. Link become metadata



Anne’s papers

Have always used stuff abt the stuff to make decisions

Archivists create massive amts of info

Tied up with notion of trust and evidence – audit trail

To trust the records, have to follow their records trail

Metadata doesn’t have to be digital – always been around

Ebla – earliest forms of tangible records, with no surviving indexes, rkkg practices

One can still see that there are traces associated with those records, heuristics associated with them

Metadata can be manual or automated

In digital world, can be either

Can bring the human intellect to bear


Archival description extensively resource-intensive

Metadata also accrues just by processing sthg through a system

Every time an event happends in a digital system, in creates a trace ß what we’re interested in

InterPARES models in the handout based on OAIS model

OAIS developed by the space-data community

IDEF 0: inputs go in from the left-hand side, outputs on right, top contstraints, bottom resources needed

In theory this is a model abt managing records, but only 3-4 of the inputs and outputs are the records, everything else is about the records – that’s the metadata

VERY interesting

A0 is highest level

A2 is inside the box, decomposed into 3 diff activities. Metadata activities in

Decomposes as you go on

Arrows an awful lot of this is metadata

Every action creates metadata

Indexing versus catalogin…more metadata than data


MT: what can you draw from the metadata??


Not about the translation, but the metadata tells you about how the record is considered/characterized at certain points in time.

Can then look at how the metadata has transformed over time and space!







They tried to figure out using activity models to see the flow of metadata

Literary warrant analysis to see why

Agents, who, specifications, how


MT: how forward-looking are archivists versus other developers?


Specify where these ?? are in an infinitely recursive process

How much metadata do you need to prove the trustworthiness of a record. Could it be summarized and some moved out of the system? Authorized abstracts (Roman) could we reappraise the metadata and cycle it out of the system or could new md synthesize

Need recordkeeping for the metadata for the rkkg system of the metadata, and on, and on

This work is still not done

**area for concentration for me?


Problematizing metadata is an info society problem!!!


One of biggest problems for research is the sustainability. Once research is done, no one to take it up


Anne’s interest in this research and how it has changed over time

Small # of ppl who work in metadata

LIS ppl focus on the bibliographic side

Anne, McKemmish, Evans are really the only ppl who walk both sides

She’s been doing it since she was a masters student

Surfacing, understanding, exploiting role of metadata in digital and manual environments

Trained in info design and info retrieval and not an historian, so she uses many different methods

Attracted to the field bc of the latency of what’s not said in the recors and

Needed delination of the things taken for granted in the archival field

MARC AMC format when she finished her masters

Shoehorned archival description into this format

She put togehre a volume of trends for major developers

Editor was Lancaster


Dissertation was a system design project

Metadata around email in academic environment and org structures that sat underneath the system

At time of huge email lawsuit. Judgment all came down to metadata, White House, Iran Contra, judge said the email was records, if paper and email, the record is the email, not the paper. Bc has metadata that tells who know what when***

Validation of the value of email

The moment she got here they started to develop EAD at Berkeley. She was on the development team

Then developed the onine archive of California – biggest archival collection anywhere

Conversion of finding aids into the digital wrld

MOAC eval whether EAD could describe museum colllections

At same time, she got involved with InterPARES (directed all of the descriptive work; $2million of funding; designed to feed back into ISO 28301?) and RKMS and co-PI on the Clever Project (only American professional involved)

Literary warrant analysis and modeling

Until 2006 she large shift personally

Increasingly concerned about disconnect bt the kinds of metadata schemes being developed and standardized from the reality on the ground

She brought up First course in community archives

Social justice

Whether archives were using metadata as a form of control

increasingly standardized so other environments couldn’t participate. Different epistemologies at work in those communities

Notion of standardized metadata

If you could identify conceptually, could you design a standardization at a conceptual level rather than prescriptive/formalized standards

If they participate in the standards world, neo-colonial problem

Can behave locally and participate globally

Could we map bt these concepts?

Developing a conceptual metadata structure

Working on that right now

Led her to metadata archaeloology project

What made her uneasy: assertions abt the fact that things have always been this way – inevitable ways that people create and manage records, these assumptions wrong there are different things in different place and at different times. In fashion, goes out of faction (cosmological approach in spain in 18th century but it was of its time)

Records continuum again a universal model, the more grassroots community work, we know doesn’t account for emotion, affect, other powerful things

Way to look at some of those things. Whether there are universals at work, are there oth’er factors not classicly considered?

Metadata as an apparatus – everythin gthat is in dialogue with the records and manifests in lots of waya

If you can identify those TKTK, and read them, you can see more bout the stuff behind the records

Used methods that

  • Some of this required doing a lot of archival research to look at documentation that survived
  • Interviews
  • Ethnography

She was interested in the space n which records being kept and the discourse about the relationship

She was an outsider in the environments. She had to account for her own presence in the environment – ethical exigency. She has to account for herself and the effect of her being there on the environment. Began doing auto-ethnography

Intellectual, emotional, personal background reactions

Co-creation paper she gave at a conference on ethics of info

She sent an abstract. A woman was doing similar work  re native American activities using a native American ontology

She said she had no choice but to use auto-ethnography

Our field looks nervously on autoethnography, but to do some of this kind of work, there’s not other way to account for those aspects, particularly when you’re an outsider. Need to account for you change epistemologically through the process, as well

She could look at separate cases on their own terms

How metadata discourses manifested

Small and big cases—warying granularity

A lot of depth abt the nuances

Really abt sensitizing ppl t the presence of metadata and the TKTK of metadata in an environment

So much in our field is about the agency of archive and effects of control

Metadata archaeology paper was pushing things to the extrme, lays out the method

Writing abook now abt method and several case studies

“Telling stories abt stories”

one is ATSIDA discussion that brings in metadata origina of all of that

bringing them home report – application and implication of rkkg and metadata

reparations can’t happen without them, either

how narratives then translate into the American context

social justice aspect – how do you honor the perspectives, needs, roles of underrepresented communities

catalogin community doesn’t buy in

social justice and empowerment – all of these metadata structures need a different premise that’s not just abt majority consensus – instead a pluralized perspective, as info mgmt. affect culture?

Adoption of the Dutch Manual in 1910 and its effect on archival practice globally

Laid out a set of heuristics, not codified in all systems of archival in the world. All came from one moment

Why did this happen. Did they understand the political agenda why did ppl coalesce around other ideas, why happen again around the internet? Why does that come up perennially? What does it mean for local and national practice?

Not everything is universal

Sharon trawig – development of high energy physics iarchive in japan partly here, only major science archival method outside the English-speaking world

Project in southern india to digitize French colonial newspaper, even though French and Indians don’t want to remember that industry

Arcadia foundation funds rescue of the archive

American institution funded by british agency to rescue and desrcribe records the French and indian has abandoned

Indians didn’t have access to the digital archive

What does all of that mean?

British required EAD used to describe the materials, but didn’t fit well

Diff Languages but descry in English

Available in three sites in us—what does that mean? Whose work are you sustaining

If archives are the province of the elite, have we just handed it back?

ALSIDA indig ontology and TKTK

Case study of the transgender living archive they are developing

Seeking to juxtapose the community-centric archive with the way they’ve been described in the official record (mostly medical records)

Africa Uganda – hoping to repatriate ethnomusicological TKTK

Digital repatriation project back to these villages, which don’t have the infrastructure, so developing an archive for them – transnational and local issues

Cesar chavez center—building an archive that will be centered around the workers mvnt

Moves things a long way from the readings today

Exploring the implications of metadata discourse in these environments

Related to agenda of pluralizing the archival environment

None of these environments exist independently


MT: interdependency correlates to interoperability?

How empower groups to interact not violate rights, etc