Workshop material

Name of presenter: Christina Harlow

About the presenter: Metadataist, Cornell University Library, Ithaca NY.

Intended audience: Metadata Librarians, Digital Collection Librarians, Library Platform Developers curious to know what Metadata folks are going on about

Outcomes: Experiment with ways to review and enhance existing descriptive metadata before a migration to a RDF-based system; Understanding from a metadata viewpoint of a possible object model and an object store – PCDM and Fedora 4; Practice modeling objects as PCDM objects with descriptive metadata applied using various ontologies; Discussion of these workflows and where community improvement could occur.


With the growing popularity of the digital library platforms Hydra and Islandora, as well as a movement towards using RDF for the metadata in those platforms, there has been significant community work on the base of those technical stacks: the Fedora Digital Object Repository. With the release of Fedora 4, there are new possibilities in how digital objects can be modeled, described, related, and updated. These changes are occurring in tandem with the development of PCDM, or the Portland Common Data Model – a community-sourced digital object model meant to support digital object repository interoperability. But what does all this mean for descriptive metadata workflows, tooling, and needs? How do we operationalize these efforts in context of other descriptive metadata models and work occurring? How do we migrate, re-model, and remediate all the metadata created before?

Coming from the perspective of a metadataist and not a developer, this workshop walks through reviewing then migrating existing metadata and objects to a Hydra platform built on Fedora 4, PCDM, and descriptive metadata fully in RDF. The first day of the workshop will focus on reviewing the metadata to be migrated – performing quality analysis, planning and performing metadata enhancements (including entity matching), and mapping to a preliminary PCDM implementation. This will include discussions on and hands-on practice with the promises and pitfalls of PCDM, linking to various external datasets, and existing (or lacking) tools for this work. The second day will focus on continued review of PCDM integrations with various data models, working with the Fedora 4 interface, and attempts at working with the Fedora 4 REST API for metadata review and normalization. There will be group review of existing documentation and tools to then send back to the Fedora, PCDM and Hydra communities.