In other news…

Enabling Digital Public Spaces

The vision for using openly licensed data alongside social media and crowd sourcing is appealing in national, European and global settings, not only to expose the cultural heritage data generally but also to create subject specific platforms and aggregations. Digital New Zealand, which tested the vision in 2009, continues to demonstrate how this can be done with a very broad mix of data, whilst Europeana has recently adopted CC0 licensing to focus its model.

The newly emerging stories in 2011 have been the Digital Public Library of America and, closer to home, the BBC developing a Digital Public Space with partners including the British Library. Whilst both these nationally focused projects are in early development stages, it is significant that they are adopting licensing and technical principles that are compatible with the Discovery vision. That’s important not just because it validates the Discovery principles, but significantly because we are approaching a tipping point for this view of metadata and for its fruitful reuse in scholarship and public life. Discovery will be tracking these projects in 2012.

Listen to the BBC’s Bill Thompson taking about the Digital Public Space vision in the Guardian Tech Weekly podcast.

Library of Congress

Having announced in May this year that the time was right to rethink the ‘bibliographic framework’ in which libraries work, the Library of Congress has followed this up with a statement that recognises that “MARC is no longer fit for purpose”, and states that its bibliographic framework project “will be focused on the Web environment, Linked Data principles and mechanisms, and the Resource Description Framework (RDF) as a basic data model”.

The Library of Congress has already made a range of controlled vocabularies available as linked data from, including Subject Headings, Country codes and Name Authorities. The recent announcement cements their commitment to RDF and linked data.

While the Discovery initiative assumes and supports a mixed data environment, several Discovery projects make use of linked data for data publication.

To see the latest from Library of Congress Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative, see

For further discussion about linked data and libraries, visit the JISC Digital Infrastructure team blog where Andy McGregor sets the Library of Congress initiative in a broader context in a piece entitled: ‘Linked data and libraries: a blossoming romance?’

In the next issue

  • News of significant datasets that will be opened up by a new round of projects
  • A look inside the Shakespeare and World War One exemplar developments
  • Update on the Copac Collections Management project

Discovery Newsletter

The Discovery Newsletter

Discovery Newsletter 2012

Want to know more about the Discovery Newsletter? Contact Sero Consulting ( who will put you on the Newsletter distribution list.