Securing Access to Digital Cultural Heritage: DARIAH Workshop on Thesauri and Authority Records

The DARIAH workshop “Sustainable access to digital cultural and scientific heritage: Thesauri and Authority Records” took place on 28th of June 2016 at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore in Zagreb, Croatia. It was organized as part of DARIAH’s Humanities at Scale (HaS) project.

  • Opening Session: DARIAH workshop on Thesauri and Authority Records in Zagreb
    Opening Session: DARIAH workshop on Thesauri and Authority Records.

The workshop was targeted at the humanistic scientific community, as well as at GLAM institutions to which thesauri and authority records are necessary for the organization of knowledge and information in general, and are an essential element in a virtual semantic environment.

Regulated authority bases and thesauri are important to ensure the sustainability of e-infrastructures, which is one of the key topics in the focus of DARIAH’s HaS project. The great interest that researchers from various scientific and cultural institutions expressed in this workshop indicates the great motivation to finally come to grips with the issue of creating a workable thesaurus and sustainable authority records. A total of 62 registered researchers with various scholarly backgrounds participated in the workshop.

At the beginning of the workshop DARIAH’s European project manager Marco Racitti introduced the DARIAH-ERIC and its project Humanities at Scale (HaS).

An authority file of names and the importance of authority control were the subjects of Ana Knežević Cerovski’s presentation. Cerovski is the editor of the normative base of the National and University Library in Zagreb. As an introduction to the topic and the issue of creating a thesaurus, M. Sc. Irena Kolbas, senior curator and head of the library of the Ethnographic Museum, presented on the problem of a terminology for the Humanities.

In the second part of the workshop Kristijan Crnković presented an Indigo module for creating thesauri (, as an example of a user friendly tool, which can facilitate cooperative work, and become a central place, accessible to the members of the working groups for working together, rather than each individual or each institution for themselves in a variety of formats and programs. Crnković gave access the online module to the participants and offered to send a documentation to all interested parties.

Eventually, the attendees were divided into working groups according to the field of study or interest, and, using this online tool, have tried to create a thesaurus scheme and have discussed the problems which were specific for their fields (ethnology, ethnomusicology, history, art history). In the Authority Records group, the participants have been learning the way of making new records in the Aleph module, an integrated library system.

In the closing session the working groups agreed to continue to work on the development of thesauri in their areas of expertise. They also agreed to try to involve other colleagues from their own and other institutions in Croatia to help in creating an operable thesauri for scientific and professional terminologies in various humanistic and artistic fields in the near future, which will be available to the entire DARIAH (and broader) community.

The author of Croatian ethnological thesaurus Irena Kolbas stressed that everyone should be aware of the high degree of complexity and long-term work that awaits them when constructing thesauri. Afterwards some participants in the debate expressed the desire and the need for creating a fixed framework within which this newly formed working group will be able to act concretely, with clearly defined objectives and terms of construction of the thesauri. The participants suggested, among other things, forming a coordinating body to supervise this work and preparing and launching a project for creating the thesauri, in order to justify the hours invested by various interested parties. The National Coordinator Koraljka Kuzman Šlogar suggested that, for the purpose of interoperability and benefit for the entire DARIAH-EU community, an application for an international project of developing a multilingual thesaurus in cooperation with partners from other countries should be considered and thought about.

The participants left the workshop with faith that this event was the beginning of a new cooperation on a thesauri project and expressed their wish to join another workshop on this topic.

Date and Place: 28th of June 2016 at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore in Zagreb, Croatia
Notice: The workshop was organized in the framework of the DARIAH-EU project “Humanities at Scale” and with the support of the “Intangible heritage and digital humanities” project of the IEF.

Workshop leaders: Marco Racitti, Irena Kolbas, Ana Knežević Cerovski, Kristijan Crnković
Organization and moderation: Koraljka Kuzman Šlogar

Participants: Lidija Bajuk, Jelena Balog Vojak, Klementina Batina, Rašeljka Bilić, Nenad Bukvić, Mario Buletić, Tončika Cukrov, Sarah Czerny, Lada Dražin-Trbuljak, Matija Dronjić, Jasenka Ferber Bogdan, Tatjana Gaćeša, Ana Golubić, Diana Grgurić, Ivana Gržina, Tanja Halužan, Nikolina Hrust, Goran Ivasović, Ivan Jelić,  Neven Jovanović, Marin Juraga, Ivica Kipre, Maja Kocijan, Lucija Konfic, Janja Kovač, Viktorija Kudra-Beroš, Vesna Lovrić Plantić, Borislav Majkic, Branka Marciuš, Ivona Marić, Grozdana Marošević, Marija Mesarić, Sanda Milošević, Bukvić Nenad, Ivona Orlić, Ana-Marija Petričević, Antonija Petrić, Željka Petrović Osmak, Zrinka Radašević, Marta Radoš, Sara  Ries, Teodora Shek Brnardić, Ivan Smolčić, Anamarija Starčevć Štambuk, Irina Starčević Stančić, Zoran Svrtan, Ana Šestak, Hrvoje Špac, Margareta Turkalj Podmanicki, Jelka Vince Pallua, Vilena Vrbanić, Zvjezdana Vrzić, Tvrtko Zebec, Silvija Zec, Tihomir Živić, Melanija Belaj, Draženko Celjak.

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