On a Linked Data platform for Irish historical vital records
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Debruyne, Christophe, Beyan, Oya Deniz, Grant, Rebecca, Collins, Sandra, & Decker, Stefan. (2015). On a Linked Data Platform for Irish Historical Vital Records. In S. Kapidakis, C. Mazurek & M. Werla (Eds.), Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries: 19th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries, TPDL 2015, Poznań, Poland, September 14-18, 2015, Proceedings (pp. 99-110). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
The Irish Record Linkage 1864-1913 is a multi-disciplinary project aiming to create a platform for analyzing events captured in historical birth, marriage and death records by applying semantic technologies for annotating, storing and inferring information from the data contained in those records. This enables researchers to, for instance, investigate to what extent maternal and infant mortality rates were underreported. We report on the semantic architecture, provide motivation for the adoption of RDF and Linked Data principles, and elaborate on the ontology construction process that was influenced by both the requirements of the digital archivists and historians. Concerns of digital archivists include the preservation of the archival record and following best practices in preservation, cataloguing and data protection. The historians in this project wish to discover certain patterns in those vital records. An important aspect of the semantic architecture is the clear separation of concerns that reflects those requirements - the transcription and archival authenticity of the register pages and the interpretation of the transcribed data - that led to the creation of two distinct ontologies and knowledge bases.