The preservation of cultural heritage is a multi-faceted problem that faces many obstacles in practice. It is usually accepted that digital preservation is best accomplished through Web-accessible repositories for archiving and dissemination of objects. However, the repositories currently in use in various institutions are better suited to research documents than heritage artefacts. There are many differences in practice. Research documents are typically archived by academics who are able to deal with information management systems while cultural heritage documents could be curated by users who are marginally computer literate. More significantly, curation of heritage documents usually requires manipulation and organisation of large quantities of digital objects with their associated metadata - most existing repositories only allow manipulation of individual objects. This project thus seeks to develop user interface techniques to make management of heritage collections simpler and more effective, maintaining high quality metadata while minimising the effort to organise digital objects and metadata in repositories. Services that will be necessary include: move/copy/delete/transform subsets of objects; assign metadata in groups; constrain input systems to ensure quality of metadata; and automate extraction of metadata where possible. New and emerging technologies (AJAX, XUL, etc.) will be used as the basis for this work, building on prior work to create systems that are portable and minimalist. It is expected that this project will contribute new techniques for submitting and managing content in repositories - not only for heritage collections but any large document collections.
Kyle Williams, Sanvir Manilal, Lebogang Molwantoa and H. Suleman (2010), A Visual Dictionary for an Extinct Language, in Proceedings of International Conference on the Asian Digital Library (ICADL) 2010, Gold Coast, Australia, 21-25 June 2010.