Extending legacy metadata with linked open data

Jacob Jett, Timothy W. Cole, Alex Kinnaman, Deren Kudeki, Myung Ja K. Han, Caroline Szylowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Library special collections are valued by scholars and relied on to support both research and teaching. In recent years, libraries have invested heavily in digitizing many of these collections. Unfortunately, less effort and fewer resources have been expended post-digitization and many digitized library special collections today exist on the Web only in isolated information silos, difficult to find and disconnected from other resources that could provide users with valuable context. This begs the question: Can Linked Open Data (LOD) approaches be leveraged to help contextualize & enrich item-level descriptions of such collections and provide links to related information resources? This project report describes preliminary results from Exploring the Benefits for Users of LOD for Digitized Special Collections, a project still in progress which is examining this and related questions. Among the findings reported here: while special collections metadata are typically rich and ripe with LOD potential, the idiosyncratic nature of the collections and the metadata schemes used pose unique mapping and transformation challenges; the opportunity for adding links to item-level metadata is great, but finding links still requires significant cataloger involvement; at the scale of most library special collections, information from LOD sources can be retrieved in real time to enhance the presentation of items to end-users, providing context and links to related information. These findings suggest that the transformation of metadata into LOD and the inclusion in item descriptions of links can improve the connectedness of digitized special collections and enhance user interactions with these resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, DCMI 2017 - Washington, United States
Duration: Oct 26 2017Oct 29 2017


  • Linked open data
  • Metadata enhancement
  • Metadata mapping
  • Schema.org

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software


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