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Archival Data

Making raw archival data available to interpret, manipulate and present in creative ways
Public Record Office Victoria is currently trialling making raw archival data available for download and use. This project explores the ways in which we can open up and standardise data and descriptive practices to allow for greater use and re-use.

Initial data availability consists of XML files for Agency and Function data. Agency data is in EAC-CPF format. Function data uses a structure based on EAC-CPF. Future steps may include the publication of series and item data and the development of an API.

One of the key challenges of the project is addressing how to best represent the relationships of a complex archival control model that contains ‘many-to-many’ links. For example, an agency can be responsible for multiple functions over time. We are including basic relationship data: for example, each function that an agency has been responsible for is included in the agency data, along with the date ranges. For Function data, each agency responsible for that function is listed in a relation element, along with the dates.  This should allow linking of the data.

This project is part of our contribution to the Victorian Government’s initiatives to make more and better use of the Internet to share information. The project is one among many efforts of archives around Australia to open up information for use by web applications.

The data

Victorian Government agencies since the 1830s

Victorian Government ‘functions’
a way to classify government activity and track shifting responsibilities over time

Related projects National Archives of Australia Commonwealth archival data State Records New South Wales API Victorian Government 2.0 Action Plan (Victorian) Public Sector Information Release Framework
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