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Cultural Heritage Information

Feb 2015 | 360pp

Paperback
9781856049306
Price: £64.95
CILIP members price: £51.96

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9781783300662
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Cultural Heritage Information
Access and management

Edited by Ian Ruthven and G. G. Chowdhury

This book provides an overview of various challenges and contemporary research activities in cultural heritage information focusing particularly on the cultural heritage content types, their characteristic and digitization challenges; cultural heritage content organization and access issues; users and usability as well as various policy and sustainability issues associated with digital cultural heritage information systems and services. 
 
Cultural Heritage Information, the first book in the peer-reviewed i-Research series, contains eleven chapters that have been contributed by seventeen leading academics from six countries.  The book begins with an introductory chapter that provides a brief overview of the topic of digital cultural heritage information with the subsequent chapters addressing specific issues and research activities in this topic. The ordering of the chapters moves from scene setting on policies and infrastructures, through considerations of interaction, access and objects, through to concrete system implementations. The book concludes by looking forward to issues around sustainability, in the widest sense, that are necessary to think about in order to maximize the availability and longevity of our digital cultural heritage.
 
The key topics covered are:
  • Managing digital cultural heritage information 
  • Digital humanities and digital cultural heritage (alt-history and future directions)
  • Management of cultural heritage information: policies and practices
  • Cultural heritage information: artefacts and digitization technologies
  • Metadata in cultural contexts – from manga to digital archives in linked open data environment
  • Managing cultural heritage: information systems architecture
  • Cultural heritage information users and usability
  • A framework for classifying and comparing interactions in cultural heritage information systems
  • Semantic access and exploration in cultural heritage digital libraries
  • Supporting exploration and use of digital cultural heritage materials: the PATHS perspective
  • Cultural heritage information services: sustainability issues.  
Readership: This will be essential reading for researchers in Information Science specifically in the areas of digital libraries, digital humanities and digital culture. It will also be useful for practitioners and students in these areas who want to know the different research issues and challenges and learn how they have been handled in course of various research projects in these areas.

1. Managing digital cultural heritage information - Gobinda Chowdhury and Ian Ruthven 
2. Digital humanities and digital cultural heritage (alt-history and future directions) - Chris Alen Sula
3. Management of cultural heritage information: policies and practices - Gobinda Chowdhury 
4. Cultural heritage information: artefacts and digitization technologies - Melissa Terras
5. Metadata in cultural contexts – from manga to digital archives in linked open data environment - Shigeo Sugimoto, Mitsuharu Nagamori, Tetsuya Mihara and Tsunagu Honma
6. Managing cultural heritage: information systems architecture - Lighton Phiri and Hussein Suleman
7. Cultural heritage information users and usability - Sudatta Chowdhury 
8. A framework for classifying and comparing interactions in cultural heritage information systems - Juliane Stiller and Vivien Petras
9. Semantic access and exploration in cultural heritage digital libraries - Ali Shiri
10. Supporting exploration and use of digital cultural heritage materials: the PATHS perspective - Paul Clough, Paula Goodale, Mark Hall and Mark Stevenson
11. Cultural heritage information services: sustainability issues - Gobinda Chowdhury and Ian Ruthven

“ ... useful for students, researchers, and early practitioners who wish to become more conversant with the challenges and practices of cultural heritage digital environments. Recommended.”
- K. Irwin, University of Nevada, CHOICE

"...this collection fulfills its stated goal of presenting ‘a snapshot of current research and development as well as outlining the various challenges and trends of research in relation to the creation, access and management of digital cultural heritage information systems and services’...Since this is the first title in the new iResearch series from Facet Publishing...it is to be hoped that future volumes in this series are as relevant, comprehensive, and well-structured."
- Digital Scholarship in the Humanities

"Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Ian Ruthven (Professor of Information Seeking and Retrieval, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde) and G. G. Chowdhury (Professor of Information Science, Northumbria University, Newcastle), Cultural Heritage Information is comprised of eleven impressively informed and informative articles by lead researchers in the history and impact of digitally transmitted and preserved information upon our cultural legacies. Cultural Heritage Information is a critically important and seminal contribution to academic library reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists with respect to digital libraries, digital humanities and digital culture."
- Midwest Book Review

"This edited volume is penned by a range of contributors from diverse backgrounds. This is a bonus as it means that the issues covered include not only information seeking behaviour, but also concerns about access to materials, interface design, copyright issues and a broad overview of many topics associated with heritage materials."
- Journal of Pedagogic Development

"Provides a number of viewpoints to inform and challenge readers on the primary issues of digital humanities. Academic libraries serving library and information science programs and libraries engaged in digital humanities projects would be advised to consider this book."
- Catholic Library World

"As this is the first book in the new series started by the Facet Publishing it is proper to congratulate the editors, authors and the publisher with a good start." 
- Information Research

"Cultural Heritage Information: Access and Management is for students, researchers, and practitioners who want to understand digital heritage’s unique challenges and learn how they have been handled in institutional projects."
- Margot Note, Director of Archives and Information Management, World Monuments Fund

"Many timely subjects are addressed in the book that add new perspectives in the context of culutral heritage collections and institutions. This work is thus a valuable contribution to the literature, particularly for an academic audience."
- Archival Issues

"The contributors ... all bring with them considerable expertise and experience in the world on online information management. As a vehicle for provoking more thought and discussion about matters relating to information sciences and the digital world, it more than achieves its aim."
- Lise Summers, Archives and Manuscripts

"Two of the more interesting chapters raise issues usually overlooked by more practical, how-to publications: Chris Alen Sula’s call for an “alt-history” of digital humanities that recognizes the influence of cultural heritage institutions; and Gobinda Chowdhury’s overview of economic, social, and environmental sustainability challenges which affect Internet-based services generally but are especially concerning for cultural heritage institutions, which through digitization aim to both preserve cultural content and make it widely available. This book is appropriate for libraries that support LIS or museum studies education, and for any cultural institution engaged in managing digital content, as many libraries are."
- Susan E Searing, ARBA

"Overall, this book provides a global overview of issues related to cultural heritage information access and management. The eighteen authors span six countries and the diversity provides a welcome change in perspective from most texts that focus on American institutions."
- Library Resources & Technical Services 

Professor Ian Ruthven is Professor of Information Seeking and Retrieval, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Strathclyde. 
 
Professor Gobinda Chowdhury BSc Hons, MSc, PhD, FCLIP is Professor in Information Science at iSchool@northumbria, and Head of the Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences at Northumbria University. 
 

1. Managing digital cultural heritage information - Gobinda Chowdhury and Ian Ruthven 
 
This chapter provides a brief overview of the topic of digital cultural heritage information.
 
2. Digital humanities and digital cultural heritage (alt-history and future directions) - Chris Alen Sula
 
In Chapter 2 Sula presents a critical account of the histories of digital heritage, the challenges of defining the concept and the complementarities between digital and non-digital heritage. He then turns to the future and considers possible futures for digital heritage and concrete suggestions for this future.
 
3. Management of cultural heritage information: policies and practices - Gobinda Chowdhury 
 
In Chapter 3, Chowdhury discusses various policy issues associated with the digitization and management of cultural heritage information. He argues that management of digital cultural heritage information involves a number of social, legal and policy issues. For example, while there is a general consensus that cultural heritage information should be made available to everyone for social good, there are a number of intellectual property and digital rights management issues. There are also some ownership and cultural sensitivity issues; for example, specific government policies and guidelines have been formulated for handling of cultural heritage information related to specific indigenous communities in countries like Australia and New Zealand. Chapter 3 discusses some of these policies and their implications as well as the provenance and digital rights management issues associated with cultural heritage information. 
 
4. Cultural heritage information: artefacts and digitization technologies - Melissa Terras
 
Terras points out that there is now an expectation that institutions should be undertaking digitization programs, and best practices in this area are now well documented and understood. In Chapter 4 she scopes out the background to the current digitization environment, giving an overview of the methods and approaches involved. She discusses the current developments, highlighting the use of both two and three dimensional digitization methods for the creation of digital surrogates of objects and artefacts, indicating the potential for further development in the sector, whilst drawing attention to current issues faced when digitizing objects and artefacts including cost, sustainability, impact evaluation, and expectation management in the changing information environment. She points out that affordances of previously prohibitively expensive techniques – such as multi-spectral imaging and 3D scanning – are now available at relatively inexpensive rates. However, she raises questions about digital literacy and our understanding of what it means, for both the end user and information professional, to create digital versions of our cultural inheritance. 
 
5. Metadata in cultural contexts – from manga to digital archives in linked open data environment - Shigeo Sugimoto, Mitsuharu Nagamori, Tetsuya Mihara and Tsunagu Honma
 
Sugimoto, Nagamori, Mihara and Honma point out that metadata plays a key role in finding, accessing, collecting, using, organizing, storing, delivering and preserving cultural heritage information in a networked information environment. In Chapter 5, they discuss various metadata issues for digital resources and archives in the networked information environment in the context of a novel metadata framework development for publishing and management of ‘Manga’, a Japanese term which means graphic novel or comics. They conclude that having an appropriate and interoperable metadata framework does not only facilitate better access and management of cultural heritage information resources, but they also help us add value to those resources through such activities as linking, annotations, etc. 
 
6. Managing cultural heritage: information systems architecture - Lighton Phiri and Hussein Suleman
 
In Chapter 6, Phiri and Suleman discuss the systems architecture that store, preserve and provide access to digital cultural heritage objects. They discuss major design considerations for implementing cultural heritage system architectures and some existing architectural patterns currently in use. They argue that the current digital library systems architectures are not suitable for institutions and researchers in many third world countries that suffer from poor network infrastructure and access. They propose a simpler architectural design, call Simplicity, and show through two case studies, how such a simple design can facilitate the management of cultural heritage information collections in South Africa.
 
7. Cultural heritage information users and usability - Sudatta Chowdhury 
 
In Chapter 7, Sudatta Chowdhury discusses various issues and challenges of users and usability studies in digital humanities and digital culture. By drawing several examples from large cultural heritage information services like the Europeana digital library, she discusses some specific characteristics of users of digital humanities and digital culture and how they influence the design and usability of cultural heritage information systems and services. .She also discusses some emerging trends in the context of users and usability studies of cultural heritage information systems and services.
 
8. A framework for classifying and comparing interactions in cultural heritage information systems - Juliane Stiller and Vivien Petras
 
In Chapter 8, Stiller and Petras argue that the there are several significant distinct characteristics of user interactions in cultural heritage information services in comparison to conventional information services. They discuss some strategies for cultural institutions to provide users with means for purposeful interactions with digital cultural heritage while maintaining their mandate to offer universal access to curated content. By drawing examples from the European digital library, they provide framework to evaluate interactions and to critically analyse them with regard to serving users and cultural institutions alike. They conclude that for cultural heritage information, it is not only necessary to provide certain features and consequently interactions but it is important to be aware of their influence on the access modes.
 
9. Semantic access and exploration in cultural heritage digital libraries - Ali Shiri
 
In Chapter 9, Shiri provides an overview of knowledge organization systems and metadata standards used in cultural heritage digital libraries. His chapter examines and analyses, using three selected cultural heritage digital libraries as case studies, the ways in which digital libraries have incorporated controlled vocabularies in their search user interfaces and the degree to which this use of semantic access maps to recent research on the information search strategies of cultural heritage information seekers.
 
10. Supporting exploration and use of digital cultural heritage materials: the PATHS perspective - Paul Clough, Paula Goodale, Mark Hall and Mark Stevenson
 
In Chapter 10, Clough, Goodale, Hall and Stevenson discuss techniques to support information access to digital cultural heritage collections and, in particular, helping users explore and use the information they contain. They focus on a particular system called ‘PATHS’ – Personalised Access To cultural Heritage Spaces) project, funded under the European Commission’s FP7 programme – that aims to support multiple user groups with varying degrees of domain knowledge through the provision of state-of-the-art functionalities, such as recommendations and visualizations. 
 
11. Cultural heritage information services: sustainability issues - Gobinda Chowdhury
 
The lifecycle of digital cultural heritage information services is resource intensive in many ways. First, activities associated with digitization and preservation of digitized content are hugely expensive affairs. Second, the growth of digital cultural heritage content vis-à-vis the growth of users and their information need from such services can quite demanding. Furthermore, as discussed in Chapter 3, there are various social, cultural and legal issues associated with the management of, and access to, cultural heritage information. All these bring the question of sustainability of cultural heritage information systems and services. Arguing that the sustainability of information systems and services has so far remained a poorly researched area, in Chapter 11, Chowdhury discusses the issues and challenges associated with the economic, social and environmental sustainability issues and challenges of cultural heritage information.

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