You are here

Jane-athon Success

The world's first full Jane-athon took place January 30, 2015 in Chicago during ALA Midwinter. This hackathon for creating RDA linked data about the works of Jane Austen and related resources was attended by over 60 delegates from 55 institutions. Individually, or in clusters led by experienced, knowledgeable volunteers, the delegates used RIMMF (RDA in Many Metadata Formats) to create RDA/FRBR entity records from imported MARC 21 records or as born-RDA, and link them using RDA designators. RIMMF is an editor for data that conforms to RDA Toolkit and the RDA Registry.

From a starting base of 75 entities for Jane and her best-known Works, and just a few of their Expressions and Manifestations, Jane-athon players spent two and a half hours RIMMFing to add 126 Works, 117 Expressions, 134 Manifestations, 240 Persons, and 64 Corporate bodies to the RIMMF-ball. Coaches were on hand to provide tactical support, settle professional differences of opinion, and note down issues for later consideration by the JSC. They were kept busy. After the session, and lunch, everyone took part in a de-briefing to reflect on the experience, review the results, and look at the bigger picture. The RIMMF-balls of data from each contributor were merged into a super ball, and that was converted into an RDF-ball suitable for open linked data. Discussion on issues of duplication of RIMMF records for the same entity and the need for a shared infrastructure for RDA data creation and maintenance segued into consideration of the context of linked data and its accommodation of multiple points of descriptive view.

A wide range of Jane-related resources was brought by participants, from Sense and sensibility to Seamonsters and Zombies, from Jane dolls to tattoos and tea strainers, a small inkling of Austen's influence on cultural heritage and a real test of RDA's ability to describe all kinds of content and carrier.

During the pre-session warm-up, delegates were exhorted to have fun. They seem to have done just that: "Awesome!"; "Like trying to think about time travel"; "We'll need to talk more about relationships and where they belong"; "Cool and fun and nice" - you had to be there!

The JSC welcomes this demonstration of RDA's ability to describe a wide range of resources and produce well-formed linked data, and the opportunities a Jane-athon offers for discussion and feedback on ways of developing RDA.

For more information, see: