A common agent database and service for the whole memory organization sector

Matias Frosterus (National Library of Finland)

Persons and organizations are a very natural way of approaching information – be it searching for books by a certain author or archival material about a specific person.

Finna (https://finna.fi) provides centralized access to material from Finnish museums, libraries, and archives but due to there being no common agent metadata between the various sectors, the persons and organizations are just strings. This is a two-fold problem causing, e.g., people with the same name to get jumbled up but also means that searching for agents whose name can be written in various ways results in low recall.

Planning for a common agent metadata repository and service began several years ago when co-operation between the various cultural heritage organization sectors deepened with two preliminary reports published in 2015 and 2017. A key enabler for a shared vision was provided by the adoption of RDA (Resource Description and Access) metadata standard across the different sectors. This year the project for developing this Agent Metadata Service began in earnest funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The goal of the project is to have a preliminary pilot service operational by the end of the year. The main challenges are in creating a common metadata schema, combining the existing agent metadata from different sources, as well as developing the tools and processes for shared describing of agents.

Presentation slides

Aalto HELDIG DH pizza seminar on Friday 21 February 2020 at 12.00 (TUAS building room 3104, Maarintie 8)