The pilot project consists of making three existing datasets available as Linked Open Data, resulting from research into cultural programmes in Amsterdam by CREATE (Media Studies UvA).
Together with the UvA CREATE Lab, our ICT and metadata specialists have realised a great project. This new way of unlocking digital research data is a good example of collaboration between researchers and the Library and how it contributes to science and education.Max Haring, Head of Education and Research at the Library
A valuable recognition is that the pilot was nominated for the Dutch Data Prize 2022, a prize that is awarded every two years to an individual or a team that makes research data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).
1 Cinema Context is an online encyclopedia on film (culture) in the Netherlands since 1896. It is a database of historical and contemporary film theatres in the Netherlands, and documents more than 100,000 film screenings since that period. You will gain insight into the DNA of Dutch film and cinema culture as part of the cultural life of the Netherlands.
The Linked Data of Cinema Context was created with the help of a grant from KNAW DANS. How the data is modeled and what you can do with the data (via example queries) can be found on https://uvacreate.gitlab.io/cinema-context/cinema-context-rdf/.
2 Onstage contains all performances, sales information and cultural programs in the Amsterdam public theatre in the 17th to the 18th century. Here you will find titles of the theater programs, performed pieces per day, names of actors and translators to even ticket sales information over time.
The Linked Data of Onstage and Ecartico are integrated into the websites of the two datasets. Both datasets have been further expanded and further developed by the UvA in the Golden Agents project.
3 Ecartico is a database with biographical information of people who were involved in the cultural sector in Amsterdam in the 16th-18th centuries: artists, painters, actors, room owners, etc. You can do more than just search and browse for information about people or make selections of certain types of data. With Ecartico you can also visualize and analyze data about cultural entrepreneurs and their 'environments'.
A Midsummernight's Dream
All three databases can be used separately, but in this pilot the data is brought together and opened up for broader analysis.
For example, you can see that the Dutch adaptation of 'A Midsummernight's Dream' is not only a play that was performed in the public theatre at least once a year in the 17th century, but also that it is the title of a film from 1935 that has been shown several times in Dutch cities. You can also find names of the 17th-century translators and the social networks that made these performances possible. When these datasets are linked, new opportunities for research arise.
No need to download
These three linked open datasets have clear advantages over their individual dataset iterations: no more downloading database files.
For example, it is possible to refer to a single person in a dataset and use his or her data without the need to download the entire dataset (as is customary when a dataset is downloaded from an archive service such as DANS or Figshare).
Permanent service of the Library
The technology itself is maintained by the Library. It is also scalable and affordable so that the Library can guarantee sustainable access. We have already made our own catalogue available as Linked Data. The same SPARQL search also shows library copies of 'A Midsummernight's Dream' as well as relevant academic studies on Shakespeare's play.
Through this project, the Library learns a lot about the required (meta) data quality and how to improve it. In addition, the library is investigating whether the Linked Open Data facility can be a permanent library service, to which many other datasets can also be added.
As long as the contributors use schema.org's vocabulary, all datasets will be FAIR in the same way — a great resource for researchers anywhere.
For questions or more information about this project, please contact Max Haring, Head of Education and Research Support, UvA/AUAS Library.