Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Using dbpedia to jumpstart EAC-CPF record creation

Dbpedia offers a wealth of open information in the form of RDF that can be used for all sorts of purposes.  It contains links to resources about the Wikipedia topic available online, the birth and death dates of individuals, subjects, occupations, and a variety of relations.  Additionally, abstracts and names are available in a plethora of languages.  These data can be used to generate fairly sophisticated EAC-CPF stubs, and over the last few weeks I have implemented two approaches to generating EAC from dbpedia RDF.

  1. In xEAC, through the XForms interface.
  2. With a PHP script which is offered open source in the xEAC github repository.

Generating EAC-CPF stubs with XForms in xEAC

I'll first address #1 above.  Suppose, for example, you are creating a new record in xEAC for Alexander the Great, whose resource is represented by  By clicking the "Import DBpedia Data" trigger at the top of the page, a window will launch for the user to enter the resource URI.  After checking to see whether that is a viable resource, the user will have a list of options to check for importation: names, abstract, exist dates, CPF relations, resource relations, and thumbnail.

Friday, July 27, 2012

xEAC: XForms for EAC-CPF beta released

Today, two packages for a xEAC beta have been made available on github.  The following email is what I sent out to the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) list:

In early June I participated in the Linked Ancient World Data Institute at NYU, and there is a growing interest in ancient prosopography among classicists.  Having straddled both the museum and library/archival worlds, it makes sense to me to use EAC-CPF for this endeavor.  Several participants are now working together to build a network of Roman emperors and their relations.  We're in the data gathering stage at this point, but I have been working for the last six weeks an an XForms-based information management system for EAC-CPF records called xEAC (pronounced "zeke").  I think that it is ready for a beta release and have prepared two downloadable packages that can be dropped into Apache Tomcat.


Generic installation instructions are found at

xEAC will continue to evolve over the coming months.  From a numismatic standpoint, I plan to link emperors together with their families, link emperors to provincial governors, link these people to mints (corporate entities), and link mints to anonymous die carvers which are identifiable by their artistic style.  Each of these entities can be linked to affiliated coins to start, but we can eventually associate sculpture, epigraphy, and literary sources to them.