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Digital Support Services (DSS)
Smathers Libraries
University of Florida
P.O Box 117003
Gainesville, FL 32611 USA

P: 352.273.2900
F: 352.392.6597

Celebrating 100 years of IFAS and the Smith-Lever Act

Visit the Florida Agriculture and Rural Life Collection for more.

The Haiti Sun

A collaborative project with the Duke University Archives, the DSS is scanning a run of the of the Haiti Sun from 1950-1962.

Ramón Figueroa Mexican & Cuban Film Poster Collection

Collection: Digital Library of the Caribbean

Drew Field Echoes

Description: Newspaper published at the Drew Field Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

Collection: Florida Digital Newspaper Library

Antique Maps, Historic Sanborn Maps, and Aerial Photography

Collection: Map & Imagery Library Digital Collections

Archie Carr and Sea Turtles

Description: Archie Carr attaching weather balloons to sea turtles.

Collection: University Archives Photograph Collection

Alfred Browning Parker

Description: Alfred Browning Parker, architectural drawings, from the University of Florida Architecture Archives

Collection: University of Florida Libraries Architecture Archives Collection

Digital Library Center Documentation & Technologies: Authorities & Vocabularies; Thesauri

Encoded Archival Context (EAC) provides a standardized format for enriching and extending digital collection materials through authorities and identities. The process to incorporate EAC into SobekCM (the UFDC System) will include support for creating and reading EAC and support for linked data as a whole. The Library of Congress as a whole, the World Digital Library, Chronicling America, Open Library, and many others are developing and refining their connections to and support for linked data (See: RDF/XML Resource Description Framework; W3C on the Semantic Web; SKOS, Simple Knowledge Organization System; ORE, Object Reuse and Exchange).

As this EAC example from the National Library of Australia shows, EAC alone is sufficient to create a robust authority record. However, that record must be tied to other information sources in order to enrich the overall information environment by providing additional context. Authority records created with contextual information in a standards-based form can provide additional information, thus enriching existing information sources, and can enable enhanced functionality.

For instance, the JISC Names Project states that authorities would allow for the "reliable retrieval of all materials provided by a particular individual or department (and not those of others with similiar names)" ("Names Project Plan," August 2009). The Names Project goes on to note that the increased search reliability and accuracy would allow for further improvements, including the enabling of "navigation between identities. For example X collaborates with Y, so retrieve everything by Y." The Names Project also correctly anticipates needing to use multiple standards (MARC, EAC, JSON, and FOAF) as well as augmenting those with additional data. The Names Project is focusing on the names for singular identities (e.g.; a single researcher) even if the researcher has been changed his/her name over time.

Using EAC, the University of Florida Libraries' plan to create both single EAC records for singular identities (these will collect and connect all relevant references to authority/identity information within a single EAC record) and sets of interrelated EAC records for complex and compound identities. For instance, where a single researcher may need referencing by alternate names over certain time periods, an academic department within a university may begin within another department. The developing new department may first become a specialized area within the home department, perhaps one in which students can earn specialized study certificates. The developing department could continue to grow into its own department, separate from the original parent department. Over time, the new department could absorb or merge with other departments, incubate other new departments within it, change names, and so on, and all of these processes could happen repeatedly. Given the complexity of a research body's life cycle, and one which may be tied to particular researchers, and their particular academic departments, the agency history of the departments needs to be available in a standardized and reference-able manner in relation to the area of study, the researchers, the university unit, and academia as a whole. In these sorts of circumstances, a single EAC record would be able to capture one trajectory, and then could reference the related records for the many separate, yet related entities.

The complex and compound nature of the identities of academic departments parallels that of cities - so often build on the remains of prior cities; expanding to absorb or merge with other areas - and many other entities and institutions. In many cases, a core trajectory may exist and it may be possible to properly reference all information within a single EAC record. In other instances, multiple EAC records that reference each other may be needed to explain the relationship of multiple independent entities.

Given the complexity possible for even a single authority file, maximum interoperability with other services and registries requires the integration with other formats. The University of Florida Libraries will use EAC as the primary format because it is the most robust and capable of integrating and referencing the others. Other formats will be included in the EAC records as references and crosswalks and tools for importing and exporting data will also be required in order ti ensure maximum interoperability.

Standards for import include LDAP (the University of Florida supports an LDAP phone directory for those affiliated with the University) and LC Name Authority files (the University of Florida Libraries contribute name authority records to the Library of Congress).

Resources for Shared/Syndicated Content

EAC Mock-up Screenshots for the IR

Last modified: Wednesday September 29 2010 lnt