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Last modified: July 18, 2002
RSLP Collection Description Project

[April 29, 2002] RSLP Collection Description Project is "funded by the UK Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) with the aim of enabling all projects funded through the programme to describe collections in a consistent and machine readable way. With additional funding from OCLC, the project has developed a model of collections and their catalogues. [The development team has] used this work to form the basis of a collection description metadata schema, implemented using the Resource Description Framework (RDF). A Web-based tool has been developed that allows the construction of RDF descriptions by filling in a Web form. Associated with this tool there is a detailed set of data entry guidelines and an enumerated list of collection types." [summary from the D-LIB article]

Project Syntax: "The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is the W3C recommended architecture for metadata on the Web. RDF provides a mechanism for making simple metadata statements about resources (including both digital and physical resources) of the form - resource X has property Y with value Z. By grouping sets of these simple statements together, and by using the same mechanism to make statements about the sets of statements, it is possible to build up complex RDF descriptions of multiple resources and the relationships between them. Currently, the exchange of RDF descriptions on the Web is achieved by encoding them using the Extensible Markup Language (XML)... The RSLP Collection Description project chose to encode collection descriptions using the XML encoding of RDF, based on the attributes listed in the schema above. Full collection descriptions are partitioned into separate RDF descriptions of Collections, Locations, Collectors, Owners and Administrators. These separate descriptions are linked together to form a full description"

"The choice of RDF/XML as an encoding syntax has not been entirely trouble free. RDF is a fairly new development and there is not a great deal of significant implementation experience. The approach taken of inventing a URI and assigning it to a resource, specifically for the purpose of creating an RDF description, is relatively untested. Furthermore, recent recommendations made by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative for element qualifiers [23] (schemes and attribute refinements) have been developed in parallel with our work and the conventions for their encoding in RDF are not yet fully mature. The qualifiers and syntax adopted in this area by the RSLP Collection Description project may well be incompatible with the conventions developed elsewhere in the future... However, the RSLP Collection Description Project has been successful in developing a model of collections and collection descriptions, in implementing that model using an RDF encoding and in providing the basis for deployment of that encoding by other RSLP projects."


  • RSLP Collection Description website
  • RSLP Collection Description Schema "This document proposes a collection description schema, a structured set of metadata attributes, for describing collections within the RSLP. It is based on 'An Analytical Model of Collections and their Catalogues'."
  • CLDT - an enumerated list of collection types
  • Research Support Libraries Programme
  • An Analytical Model of Collections and their Catalogues. See the final version in PDF format [cache]
  • Project Proposal
  • RSLP Collection Description: ISAD(G)/EAD to RSLP CLD Schema/Application Profile Mapping. Note: "This document should be read in conjunction with the earlier note on the relationship between ISAD(G) and the RSLP CLD schema. Further, implementers building transformations based on this mapping may need to adapt it to local EAD encoding and content conventions."
  • "RSLP Collection Description." By Andy Powell (UKOLN, University of Bath). Michael Heaney (University Library Services Directorate, University of Oxford), and Lorcan Dempsey (DNER Director, Joint Information Systems Committee, King's College London). D-Lib Magazine Volume 6 Number 9 (September 2000). ISSN: 1082-9873.
  • Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Final Report. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Approved by the Standing Committee of the IFLA Section on Cataloguing (1997). UBCIM Publications, New Series, Volume 19. München: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1998. ISBN: 3-598-11382-X. 144 pages. "The terms of reference for the study called for the development of a framework that identifies and clearly defines the entities of interest to users of bibliographic records, the attributes of each entity, and the types of relationships that operate between entities. The intent was to produce a conceptual model that would serve as the basis for relating specific attributes and relationships (reflected in the record as discrete data elements) to the various tasks that users perform when consulting bibliographic records... The study uses an entity analysis technique that begins by isolating the entities that are the key objects of interest to users of bibliographic records. The study then identifies the characteristics or attributes associated with each entity and the relationships between entities that are most important to users in formulating bibliographic searches, interpreting responses to those searches, and 'navigating' the universe of entities described in bibliographic records." [cache]

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