From November 2017 to March 2018, I, Martin Poulter, am working for the Oxford University’s IT Services on a project related to Oxford’s GLAM collections. This is one of a suite of pilot projects exploring how the treasures of Oxford’s libraries, museums and gardens can be made more discoverable.
The project involves sharing some collection data on Wikidata, building a proof-of-concept resource discovery tool, then using analytics to evaluate the additional interest in the GLAM catalogues both from our tool and from other Wikidata-driven sites.
I have built a prototype interactive interface in PHP, making calls to Wikidata Query Service, Wikipedia API and Wikimedia Commons to get item properties, descriptive text and images. The idea is to encourage exploration of a web of knowledge, in the spirit of Crotos or Textes d’Affiches. We are guided by concepts of entity-based searching, generous interfaces and by extensive research that the university has already been carried out on the discoverability of its GLAM collections.
We are now working on data imports, and on getting a server on which to host the eventual proof-of-concept.
Another ongoing project is OXLOD (Oxford Linked Open Data), exploring how collection and research data can join in a common data model, using similar principles to Wikidata. There has already been some overlap between the Wikidata project and OXLOD: I have used Wikidata to provide some external identifiers that are useful to OXLOD and have developed a process to get identifiers from Wikidata for entities that are just known by Chinese names. In return, OXLOD are giving access to data sets, some of which can be shared on Wikidata.
I am taking the opportunity to use meetings and presentations to raise awareness of Wikidata as a master authority hub and as a data backend on which to build interesting software.