xEAC is an open-source XForms-based application for creating and managing EAC-CPF collections. The XForms backend allows editing of the XML documents in a web form, and relationships between source and target entities are maintained automatically. That is to say, when a CPF relation is added into the source document which points to another entity within the same system, the target document is updated to insert a CPF relation back to the source. The xlink:arcrole for these CPF relations is controlled by an ontology manager which handles reciprocal relationships: enabling the user to designate childOf as the inverse of parentOf. Furthermore, the xEAC editing interface interacts with a variety of REST APIs to enhance authority control and context within the record through SNAC, DBPedia, VIAF, Getty AAT, Getty TGN, Geonames, the Pleiades Gazetteer of Ancient Places, and the LC Name Authority File for geographic places. Entities which link to concepts defined on nomisma.org may incorporate SPARQL queries to extract thumbnail images of related coins. More APIs will be incorporated eventually.
EADitor optionally allows connection to an RDF triplestore and SPARQL endpoints to facilitate the publication of archival materials in the form of linked open data. Currently, xEAC supports serialization of EAC-CPF into three RDF models: a default, archival-based model, CIDOC-CRM, and the SNAP ontology. These models are rudimentary drafts. Much work remains in their development.
xEAC is comprised of three server-side application which run in Apache Tomcat: Orbeon (XForms processor), Solr (search index used for publication), and eXist (XML database). XForms submissions allow these three applications to communicate through REST.
Installation and Use
Installation and usage instructions may be found in the xEAC wiki, hosted by the American Numismatic Society: http://wiki.numismatics.org/xeac:xeac.
It must be stressed the xEAC is still beta software. While the majority of EAC-CPF elements can be edited within the form, not all attributes are available for editing. Development has focused mainly on those attributes which correspond to linking entities together (xlink attributes within CPF relation) and standard dates. Future work includes:
- Finish form: Represent all EAC-CPF elements and attributes
- Test for scalability
- Interface with more APIs
- Improve public interface, especially searching and browsing
- Incorporate social network graph visualization
- Follow evolving best practices in RDF/linked open data
The EADitor blog contains information about the use of XForms work in archives in general (including xEAC) and specific implementations at the American Numismatic Society: http://eaditor.blogspot.com/.
Building Interlinked Prosopographies: A New Approach, presented at MARAC Fall 2013, Philadelphia.
Demo of the user interface. To view the editing interface, please contact me for the URL and authentication credentials. This server is not powerful enough to open the backend to numerous concurrent users.