Hi all

    I am trying to develop a vocabulary of cultural relevant relationships
between digital objects of different heritage
collections,, The case you cited is of a relationship between a heritage object and a place, the object’s provenance. Any real case is welcome to improve  

Carlos Marcondes

    Citando James Morley <[log in to unmask]>:
> Hi all
> I am currently working on a project for the Royal Botanic Gardens,  
> Kew (most commonly known as Kew Gardens) called The Mobile Museum,  
> looking at ways that the Kew collections of ethnographic artifacts  
> and plant raw materials were distributed across the world from  
> around 1870 onwards. These went to other museums, research  
> institutions, commercial companies and, mainly within the UK, schools.
> We're trying, both manually and digitally, to trace these and  
> connect up records. The manual part is being handled by curators and  
> has seen them visit institutions in the UK but also Australia and  
> the US. For my part I am looking at the digital side and starting to  
> explore ways that we can make or at least predict / narrow down  
> those potential connections. This might involve being sent datasets,  
> or accessing them directly (in the few cases where they have APIs)  
> or through services like Europeana and Trove. 
> More details below, but my question is whether anyone has seen any  
> similar projects comparing datasets and trying to link objects  
> between collections? 
> To show the sorts of things I'm exploring
> - we have our own collection of things that were kept (often what  
> was sent would have been duplicates/spares) and this includes  
> metadata of scientific and common names, descriptions, sometimes  
> origins and collectors etc
> - we have an 'Exit Book' which has records of what was sent,  
> including where to and when, which also has details of scientific  
> and common plant names; these have been transcribed and enriched  
> with broadly standardised metadata including dates, plant names,  
> recipient institutions, and geography
> - in some cases we are in touch with recipient organisations (like  
> the British Museum) and they have provided simple csv record  
> extracts of objects known to have been received from Kew. That's  
> fine for selected major institutions, but there are about 1,000  
> distinct recipients and 40,000 objects so that's not going to scale,  
> plus it relies on high quality historic record keeping and metadata  
> to even find the data
> Here's an example:
> In 1866 Kew sent some material to the British Museum, and within  
> this was an Iban skirt from Sarawak (indeed before this there are  
> Kew archival records that show it was sent to Kew by James Brooke,  
> the first Rajah of Sarawak).  That item was then actually passed on  
> to the Pitt Rivers. We have accession data (transcribed but not yet  
> publicly available) that states “5 pieces of native cloth from  
> Borneo” were received at Kew from Brooke on 24 June 1856, plus  
> details of the geographic origin etc.  Through painstaking manual  
> research these have been connected to an item in the Pitt Rivers  
> (available online, but they don't appear to have permalinks to  
> object records) which includes mentions of Sarawak, Iban, and part  
> of the text description reads "The width suggests that it might be a  
> skirt length" plus includes the date 24 June 1854 (which is itself  
> only a partial match as at some point it appears to have been  
> mis-transcribed!). Not a huge amount to go on, but it feels like  
> there could be enough tantalising details to start making connections.
> I know it's a long shot but if anyone has any ideas and examples of  
> comparing very variable datasets and predicting matches based on  
> metadata and/or textual descriptions (or even visual comparisons,  
> but that's an even longer shot practically and technically!) then  
> I'd love to hear of them.
> Thanks, 
> James
> PS if anyone is interested in this field then we have a conference  
> "Collections in Circulation" happening at Kew 9-10 May (a wonderful  
> time to visit the gardens!) -  
> see
> ---
>                  James Morley
> Projects:[1]
> Twitter: @jamesinealing[2] / @PhotosOfThePast[3]
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