The archival record gives scholars evidence of how people have lived and understood their lives, but what is the best way to leverage linked data without anachronistically flattening those time—and place-specific life experiences? Using the Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada (LGLC) project as a case study, this talk outlines the challenges and pleasures of working with linked data ontologies from a variety of disciplines. The LGLC’s collaboration with a multidisciplinary team on ontology and crosswalk development gives us the power to represent evidence about identity, activism, and social change with more nuance than the impoverished options offered by commercial Semantic Web ontologies. The LGLC is a small-data project by commercial standards: the data we create only needs to let us see patterns in tens of thousands of records to discover how gay liberation ideas were shaped by activists’ and organizations’ local linguistic and gendered conditions, and yet our data has to integrate well with other larger datasets. The talk will conclude with a discussion of methodological caution borne of our knowledge of the development of new data environments and of the silences they can reveal and perpetuate.
This online lecture will be held on Zoom. It is part of the Linked Pasts 6 conference
. Separate booking is required only if you have NOT booked to attend the whole conference.
A booking for the Linked Pasts 6 conference can be made here.