The institutional projects are focused either upon the processing of special, local collections or the conversion of local workflows for more traditional materials. A library’s workflows are often particular to that institution. They develop organically from a complex mix of institutional policies, vendor services, choice of ILS (and its capabilities), and accepted standards (RDA, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging’s Bibliographic Standard Record (BSR), etc.). The goals, then, of the institutional projects are two. The first is more straightforward. Although identical workflows cannot be developed for all institutions, standards for the output of those workflows can be. This meets a library’s basic need to be able to ingest and use metadata created at other institutions. By focusing on different subject domains (e.g., cartographic, music, rare books), the group is trying to standardize the metadata output for the most common types of resources they will need to process. The second is more complex. Two institutions (The Library of Congress and Stanford) have chosen to look at the conversion of their local workflows to linked data as their institutional project. As all workflows are unique to that institution, they can be considered “institutional.” However, the benefits of these projects are numerous. First, they will demonstrate that the conversion of a workflow from acquisition to discovery is possible. They will identify the separate elements of the workflow that must be considered/converted. They will produce solutions to the various elements of their workflows that can become models for how other institutions could approach similar issues. And as they work through these workflows, they can do it in consultation with the other LD4P members so that common standards and protocols can be developed even if explicit workflows cannot be copied from institution to institution.
Early on, the members of LD4P discussed how best to coordinate their projects. Of prime concern was whether more synergy could be gained from working in similar subject domains or, instead, to focus on individual institutional interests. In the end, the group decided to favor institutional interests as institutional by-in and support would be key to local success. In addition, a major differentiator for LD4P as a project is learning how to work together in a networked, distributed environment. The development of this environment is independent of subject domain and so this helped to reinforce our decision.
That being said, a tremendous number of intersections have appeared across the individual projects binding us closely together. Columbia has chosen to investigate the extension of BIBFRAME for art objects as Stanford looks to ingest the metadata from its art museum, The Cantor , and both will have some intersection with the Library of Congress’s exploration of the use of BIBFRAME with its prints and photographs collection. Music appears as a theme in the project proposals from Cornell, The Library of Congress, and Stanford. Harvard has included a Stanford metadata expert in their exploration of geospatial metadata and BIBFRAME. The Library of Congress is working on the development of BIBFRAME 2.0 as Columbia, Cornell, and Stanford work on expanding its use into three new subject domains. The Library of Congress is also exploring the use of RDA and BIBFRAME, something that will be of use to all members’ catalog departments. Princeton’s project will build upon the annotation work developed for the first Linked Data for Libraries grant. And Stanford’s Tracer Bullet projects can help inform similar workflows at the other LD4P institutions.