Cost/benefits of the open data approach

We have been asked to assess how much it has cost us in terms of time and resources to make our data openly available, so here goes.

Our approach to the project was to have a dedicated project manager (me) working 0.5 FTE, using the skills of Pete Johnston for the transformation to Linked Data and the skills of Chris Keene (Technical development Manager for the Library) when required. This meant we were all dedicated to our tasks and  that someone was on top of the administration part of the project, as well as researching the licence and talking/presenting to groups and stakeholders whilst the technical transformation was taking place. This was a good use of time and resources and provided a bridge between the two sides.

We made a decision early on that we did not have time within the project allocation to re-structure the MOA data prior to tranformation as we would like  but we did work through 75% of it expanding name and organisation abbreviations to allow ways into the data. If we have re-structured the data within the CALM database putting dates in the date field, separating out title and description, this would have added at least another month to the project. It prehapes would have meant that there would have been less tweaking to the stylesheet that Pete made for the Locah project, but all worked out in the end as we approached it from a different angle, using lookup lists of keywords and people (See earlier blog posts here and here)


The benefits of open data are harder to quantify. We are excited by the potential uses of our data ourside of the archive searchroom and one of the reasons we have used the ODC-PDDL  is so that we can be as open as possible and see what happens. The success of this project also means that open data is on the agenda in the Library (see Chris’s blog post).

Benefits for the Keep : cataloguing guidelines

I have reported back to stakeholders from the Keep as we need to look into how we can share our data and provide resource discovery of all our collections for visitors to the Keep. Having had a close look at our catalogue data for the project we are able to provide recommendations that will hopefully make it easier to export, share and transfer our data to existing or new systems. We have created some in-house cataloguing guidelines and the following guides were produced by myself and a colleague Adam Harwood who is currently cataloguing the University of Sussex Collection.

  • CALM_ISADG_Collection level This document maps the required ISAD G fields to the CALM fields with guidelines on how to populate the fields. We have also included the fields required for export to EAD using the Archive Hub report on CALM.

Our priority in this area to to concentrate on our existing collection level descriptions and any new catalogue componant records that we create. We will share these guidelines with colleagues from the Keep in the next few months.

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