Future Projects

The planning committee has identified two related projects that would complement the redesigned ESTC and could be started during the course of the redesign.

1) Browser-based Matching: a Zotero-like tool, users could install this application in their browsers and use it to link digitized works in collections like Google Books to ESTC records.  Ben Pauley’s Eighteenth Century Booktracker is a model for this application.

2) Linked Curation Tool: a web-based program that partner projects could install on their sites that would allow researchers to link ESTC bibliographical information to digital objects and curate ESTC data from within the host site.  ESTC data could then be shared with the partner projects.

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One response to “Future Projects

  1. A further tool could be a server based “enrichment” tool which will enable a record retrieved from ESTC to be enriched dynamically with the available data for that record (or its components such as the author or publisher) from other sites. The user would see a “virtual record” containing the information from all sites. This could include links to digitised works as well as to metadata from the other sites. Thus it contains the Zotero-like functions above, and places the computational (and searching) load on the server, rather than the user’s browser. This has advantages and disadvantages depending on individual things like user bandwidth and CPU power. It can easily be turned on or off for an individual work or set of search results.

    Once enriched records have been obtained (by using identifiers where available or other search criteria where they are not – in either the ESTC source record, or as a searchable element of the target system) they cam be displayed to the user, but they can also be stored locally, along with all the links to where the data came from, so that an editor can make a determination if the enrichments are valid and the data (with links for provenance) should be added to the ESTC record – either incorporated in the main MARC record or in a linked “shadow” MARC record to make processing easier.

    Such functionality (this had to come!) is available through the MUSE federated search software that my company produces. But… there are a couple of other organizations which produce similar software, and there are parts of this available as open source, though no one OSS project combines them all, and allows the control of the commercial products.

    p.s. For a number of years in the 70’s I worked in and ended up as head of the Systems Development part of BSD, within the BL. So the ESTC (or “18th Century ESTC” as we knew it then) is an old friend. It was a testbed collection for numerous of our development activities.

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