Mimas played host to Basil Dewhurst yesterday. Basil is the Resource Discovery Services manager for the National Library of Australia and is responsible for the People Australia project, which is operating in a similar sphere to the Names project. Basil hadn’t chosen the best day for a visit to Manchester, with inebriated and unhappy Rangers fans rampaging around the city centre on the night of his arrival. But Basil is from Sydney, where cricket fans are known to indulge in the occasional alcoholic beverage, so he took it all in his stride.
I joined Basil, Dan and Vic Lyte in a conference call yesterday to discuss areas of common interest. Basil was able to update us on the recent meeting in Bologna of the EAC Working Group, where the Encoded Archival Context name authority exchange standard was thoroughly analysed and re-written to bring it in line with ISAAR-CPF (the International Standard for Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families). People Australia’s core records will be held as EAC files, whereas for Names this is one of the output formats that the service would need to support, so the standard is an important one for both projects.
The issue of persistent identifiers was also discussed, as this is another area of significance to both projects. The National Library of Australia has its own persistent identifier resolver service and People Australia is also making use of UUIDs in the background. The Names project prototype is also using UUIDS as a quick (and free) way of generating unique identifiers for entities within the system, but this would be likely to be replaced in a production version of the service by another method: possibly the Handle system.
Picture from terry6082 Books on flickr