NAMPI - A Prosopographical Infrastructure Solution for the Semantic Web
Daniel Jeller  1@  
1 : International Centre for Archival Research

Prosopographical data, by its very nature as an exploration of people and their social network, is highly suited for digital environments and technologies. In this regard, many projects have tried to tackle the various problems associated with translating the mainly analogue primary and secondary sources for prosopographies like church registers, necrologies, profession books into a digital medium, creating data models and infrastructure for it and publishing this data first on digital storage media like DVDs and, with the advent of the World Wide Web, in online databases. These efforts have shown that while it is difficult to create one-size-fits-all structures and easily reusable data without various compromises in structure, interconnectedness or usability.

The NAMPI (Nuns and Monks - Prosopographical Interfaces) project, a research collaboration between the Universities of Vienna and Graz in Austria and the International Centre for Archival Research (ICARUS) funded as part of the go!digital Next Generation grant programme of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has tried a different approach to the now traditional, relational-database based efforts: it aimed at creating a generalized data API and backend based on RDF, inference and an extensible prosopography-ontology inspired by the Factoid-Model by Pasin/Bradley as well as a freely reusable data frontend with an interactive metadata editor that is fully dynamic and based on the provided core and detail ontologies.

We propose a paper for the ICARUS Convention #28, ”Private and public archives in the 21st c.“ which will outline the general concept, data model and final state of the software suite while outlining the various experiences made by the project team related to creating a prosopographical data model based on RDF inferences, its advantages disadvantages and what it could mean for other initiatives in this or related fields.


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