Both, the digital library and the digital archiving community have made valuable contributions to the management of huge amounts of knowledge and data. However, both are approaching this topic from different perspectives; this workshop bridges this divide.
Archives, libraries and many other disciplines have key contributions to make to ensuring enduring access to digital entities. A scientific discipline providing promising technical solutions for knowledge representation and knowledge management is the area of semantic (web) technologies, which is supported by appropriate W3C recommendations and a large user community. At the forefront of making the semantic web a mature and applicable reality is the linked data initiative, which already has started to be adopted by the library community. It can be expected that using semantic (web) technologies in general and linked data in particular can mature the area of digital archiving as well and technologically tighten the natural bond between digital libraries and digital archives. Using semantic representations of the context information or knowledge about cultural heritage objects can be expected to enhance any kind of access in an archival information system. Furthermore, as different representations of the archived records will be created over time in the archival information system, semantic representations of the features that shall remain unchanged over different representations can help in designing and managing migration strategies. Hence, digital archiving requires archivists to formalize the relevant features of the orginal representation of an archived record that are of enduring value (e.g. for texts this might be the font colour, the font size, … - attributes subsumed under the term “Significant Properties” in the literature) and thus are not allowed to get lost and have to be taken care of during preservation. To respond to these kinds of issues we need to consider the information needs and information seeking behaviour of end-users. Considering the aspect of long-term or indefinite archiving and access preservation, one important challenge of digital archiving is changing user communities. For this aspect of digital archiving, current and future user needs and behaviours towards digital archives and their content need to be identified. But also technical means to formalize, detect and measure knowledge evolution are important.
Another major challenge of digital archiving is how to deal with changing technologies, (e.g. software, hardware and data formats) and their impact on the syntax, semantics, and management of digital entities over time. Hence, the proper formalization of information from an original archived record and any process applied to it as well as any other kind of provenance information can be useful for its preservation, migration, access and display to a user. Determining what contextual knowledge about a cultural heritage or scientific object will be of value or use in the future is a crucial step. These decisions are essential whatever future access mechanisms are used (e.g. migration, emulation). The semantic and pragmatic aspects of digital materials are crucial if future users are to be able to access and understand digital objects in the future.
Furthermore, digital archival records are rarely deleted from Archival Information Systems (AIS) and therefore, the amount of digitally archived content can be expected to grow exponentially and use a lot of storage while not being as frequently accessed in comparison to more current content in a digital library. Storage management solutions geared to the fact that some cultural heritage might not be accessed for years or decades while other cultural heritage is requested more frequently can accelerate access and downsize electricity consumption. Software and hardware need to be tightly connected with sophisticated knowledge representation and management models if future communities are to be enabled to rapidly access and view requested information in its most appropriate display (e.g. with any kind of data format which might be enriched e.g. with sound, video scenes, ...).
Topics of Interest
We intend to have an open discussion on any topic relevant to the general subject of Semantic Digital Archives. As we wish participants to think as broadly as possible about the problem, we suggest the list of topics below which we have identified as important for the area of Semantic Digital Archives.
Hence, we welcome contributions that focus on, but are not limited to the following topics: