Each Monday and Thursday, an abstract from one of the symposium participants will be posted to facilitate discussion. We welcome your comments!
Featured Abstract – “The Person Data Repository”
Alexander Czmiel, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
I will present the data model of the Person Data Repository, a project based at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which pursues a novel approach to structure heterogeneous biographical data. The approach does not define a person as single data record, but rather as compilation of all statements concerning that person. Thus, it is possible to display complementing as well as contradicting statements in parallel, which meets one of the basic challenges of biographic research. In order to satisfy different research approaches and perspectives, the smallest entity of the Person Data Repository is not a person, but a single statement on a person, which is named “aspect” in the data model. An aspect bundles references to persons, places, dates and sources. By proper queries it will be possible to create further narrations, whose first dimension is not necessarily a person, but possibly also a time span or a certain location. Additionally, all aspects are connected to the corresponding source and to current identification systems respectively, like the LCCN or the German PND. Thus, scientific transparency and compatibility with existing and future systems is guaranteed. To collect and create aspects of a person we built the “Archive-Editor”, a java based tool with a user friendly but powerful interface for the Person Data Repository.