The California Historical Society recently added four collections of historical photographs to its digital library, including images of Los Angeles at the turn of the 20th century, and photos taken by a 15-year-old Alice Burr of volunteer infantrymen mustering in San Francisco during the Spanish-American War. These collections and more are available at http:// digitallibrary.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
Perhaps more importantly, we’ve established new guidelines and workflows for our digital collections that help streamline time-consuming processes like cataloging digital objects at the item level and creating robust MODS records, preparing digital objects for ingestion in our Islandora DAMS, and making collection- or system-wide changes to objects’ descriptive metadata. Our GitHub account (https:// github.com/calhist) is a growing public repository of our digital tools and documentation of these workflows. Continue reading Digital collections workflows at CHS
The Linked Jazz project has derived most of the social relationships in its dataset from the transcripts of oral histories given by jazz musicians. One question we began to ask some time ago is: what other jazz historical material in digital form would be a good source of additional relationship data? One answer to that question is digitized photographs, specifically those with good-quality metadata.
Tulane University has a rich collection of historical photographs of jazz musicians living and performing in New Orleans and around the world. The Hogan Jazz Archive Photography Collection and Ralston Crawford Collection of Jazz Photography are two such collections, and we received two tab-delimited text files from Tulane, exported from their CONTENTdm system.
Some numbers: in this set we have 1,787 images, at least 681 unique individuals, and more than 2,700 depictions. Depiction is the FOAF term that we later used as a predicate in our triples from this dataset. One group photograph might depict several individuals, and one individual might be depicted in several photographs. People depicted in the same photograph can be said to “know” each other in some way.
In this post, I’ll describe the process we used to first standardize and reconcile the photograph metadata, and then describe the photographs and the people and relationships depicted using RDF triples. Continue reading Connecting musicians through the photo archive