SALDA was a six month JISC funded project to make the records of the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex available as open Linked Data and establish a methodology that can be used to open up our other archives. It proposed to establish a methodology that could be used by the University of Sussex to open up metadata using the Linked Data approach. We used knowledge and expertise already generated on similar projects to convert existing EAD currently available on our internal Archival Management System (CALM) into Linked Data that will be enhanced and made available via XML.

The University of Sussex Special Collections comprise over 100 archival collections translating to 65,000 ISAD(G)-compliant records available on the CALM system. The SALDA project was to concentrate on the largest archival collection held within the Library, the Mass Observation Archive, potentially creating up to 23,000 Linked Data records.

The Key steps were as follows:

  1. Exporting data from the CALM Archival Management System
  2. Transforming the data in to Linked Data (Eduserv)
  3. Further enhance, complement and refine the data (UKOLN)
  4. Publish the data as open Linked Data, as XML and have it uploaded to the Talis Platform (now defunct

The Special Collections Department moved to a new historical resource centre known as The Keep in 2013. The Keep brings together the collections of East Sussex Records Office, Brighton & Hove City and the University Special Collections under one roof. All three institutions used separate databases to record their collections meaning that sharing data about collections is problematic and a solution needs to be found. This project provided invaluable experience in exporting and reusing our metadata and explored the potential of using this approach to open up the information on holdings between institutions and greatly enhance resource discovery.

The same methodology was used on the SALDA Project to that which is currently being used on the LOCAH Project, which is taking data from the ArchivesHub and making it available as structured Linked Data. We used the Open Data Commons PDDL license to ensure the data is open and can be used by others. We also documented our experiences on the blog and released any code or templates to help others implement a similar approach.

Alongside making these records available, we proposed to work with experts experienced in similar Linked Data projects to draw up a methodology that would then be rolled out to enhance the remaining collections held by the University once the project had been completed. This process has become part of our ongoing cataloguing activities ensuring the objective of the project is sustainable.

More information is available on the project blog.

The Data

The data is licenced under the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and Licence (PDDL).

Download data as RDF

The data is available is the following RDF formats: N-Triples (.nt), Turtle (.ttl) and XML. It is also available in EAD from the same location.