Oxford University


ElEPHãT: Early English Print in HathiTrust, a Linked Semantic Workset Prototype
Oxford University
PI: Kevin Page

The ElEPHãT project consisted of six core activies: conducting a consultative workshop, performing a technical analysis of metadata requirements and ontology selection in collaboration with the WCSA team, developing and extending tools for generating custom RDF derived from EEBO-TCP, aligning instance data between EEBOO and HathiTrust, provisioning an RDF triplestore populated with EEBOO and HathiTrust RDF, and implementing a prototype architecture and user interfaces for constructing and viewing worksets.  The ElEPHãT prototype has demonstrated the utility of using RDF and Linked Data to bring together HathiTrust content with ‘boutique’ collections such as EEBO­TCP, providing a template for how this can be achieved. While the project has highlighted the potential complexity of generating structured metadata from new sources, it also shows how RDF provides a common ‘middle ground’ that can decouple the process of aligning items, from the preparatory re­encoding (or restructuring) of external corpora that are to be incorporated or linked. ElEPHãT also highlights that, using RDF, this can be beneficially performed in a piecemeal or iterative fashion ­ an obvious future addition being the RDF encoding of other EEBO­TCP headers including remaining date fields and imprints. In linking between HathiTrust and EEBO­TCP we have also demonstrated how either – or both – of these might be further linked using tools such as the Semantic Alignment and Linking Tool (SALT).

A copy of the project’s final report is available via IDEALS.

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