MEDEA Bookkeeping Ontology for Interoperability of Scholarly Editions of Accounts

Friday, January 5, 2018: 9:10 AM
Palladian Ballroom (Omni Shoreham)
Georg Vogeler, Center for Information Modeling, Graz University
Historical accounting records can only be understood when their documentary properties are fully considered: Their palaeographical and codicological features (“visual” layer) and the linguistics of the text (“linguistic” layer) contribute to their understanding as a formal representation of the facts recorded (“content” layer). This presentation compares the text-oriented approach found in the Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative with other digital representations of accounts that are oriented primarily on the economic facts accounted. The second part of the paper discusses the opportunities offered by the usage of semantic web technologies (RDF, RDFs/OWL, SKOS and SPARQL) to encode and expose the content layer of digital editions. I have described elsewhere in more detail my own proposal how a customized XML/TEI transcription can be transformed into an XML serialization of RDF facts, and there are other projects interlacing RDF structures into TEI. This presentation focuses on an introduction to the semantic web technologies as proposed by the W3C and discusses how those technologies can be applied to historical accounts as a common data model, for the creation of controlled vocabularies, in exposing the content layer over the web, and for querying data aggregated from several sources. The final part of the presentation demonstrates application of the whole set of methods to data extracted from existing digital editions of late medieval accounts. The research presented in this paper is part of the MEDEA activities funded by DFG and NEH.
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