The Thesaurus Maintenance Working Group received funding in 2017, through the DARIAH Working Group Funding Scheme, to organise and host a workshop for testing and validating the following tools and services developed and maintained collaboratively by the Working Group:
- the BackBone Thesaurus (BBT) – an overarching thesaurus for the humanities, under which the terminologies/ structured vocabularies in use in the arts and humanities can be aligned, with minimal modifications
- the BBTalk*, an online editing and communication tool between the curators of the BBT and its users
- the BBT Browser & Federated Thesauri Viewer**, the online access service allowing users to navigate through the concepts and hierarchies of the BBT and the thesauri connected to it
The testing was made based on real data and use cases that the WG members had supplied in preparation of the workshop.
The workshop was held at the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) in Heraklion, Crete, on September 29, 2018. The participation of representatives from both local organizations – Academy of Athens (AA), Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) – as well as international ones – Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI), Fédération et ressources sur l’Antiquité (FRANTIQ), the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities (ACDH-ÖAW) and the Getty Research Institute – created an opportunity for fruitful discussion and reflection on issues of implementation of the BBT, in order to accommodate the needs of researchers working in a digital arts and humanities framework.
Several future steps were agreed on, as a result of the workshop, with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of the BBT:
- the activation of BBT curating committee
- the rules of engagement involved in the curation of the BBT
- the means and the manner to reach decisions by voting in order to implement changes on the BBT
- future dissemination strategy to promote the BBT as a service
Finally, a memorandum of understanding was drafted, to declare the commitment of the WG towards the application of BBT, focusing on collaboration and sustainability issues regarding the BBT expansion and maintenance, as well as its dissemination to a broader audience of thesauri maintainers.
This post is part of the Working Groups Stories series presenting results and outcomes from the Working Group Funding Scheme 2017-2018.
* BBTalk was developed by ICS-FORTH
** BBT Browser & Federated Thesauri Viewer was developed by the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities