Source objects & content

As a researcher you work with different types of sources. A manuscript from the 12th century is different from a book published in 1999, which is not the same as an audio-visual medium, a web page or a journal article.

Source Objects

In the Geovistory Toolbox, we work with source objects. Each source object has its specific entity card where all information regarding this object (short title, archive reference, bibliographic citation, web-address etc.) can be stored, curated and visualized:

We understand that each source object consists of two dimensions:

Source Content

First, the source object consists of elements that express the "content" of the object. This might be letters of a text, poem or joke. Or musical or choreographic notations, movement pattern, sound pattern, images, recordings of sound, multimedia objects etc. This is what is called the source content of a source object.

Physical Carrier

Second, a source object consists of a physical carrier (source content cannot exist without a physical carrier). However, it can exist on one or more carriers simultaneously. A physical carrier might be a sheet of paper, a booklet, a CD or video cassette etc. Carriers may include human memory.

Note: The concept of source content is particularly relevant for your work in the Toolbox, because it allows you to digitally represent the content of your source objects in the form of text and tables.

Source Content

The source content expresses the exact content of a source object, such as the written letters of a diary entry or musical notes of a piano piece. In the Geovistory Toolbox, the source content is the entity to which the digital reproductions (text or table) of your source objects are linked.

In other words, you have to use "source content" if you want to express that a specific text or table is the digital reproduction of the content of one of your source objects:

Source Object Types

In the Geovistory Toolbox you can add different types of source objects:

It is important to note that the source content does not manifest itself in the same way if it is a single object (like a unique manuscript) or if it is serially produced and published object (like a book). Indeed, the artistic or intellectual content of a 12th century manuscript will only be present in that specific object. However, the ideas contained in a book published in 1999 will be found in every exemplars: In the exemplar of the University library and also in the one your desk. The latter might contain specific annotations you made. This is why different classes of source objects should be used.

In the Toolbox, you first select the corresponding source object class. Per default, Geovistory Toolbox supports five different kinds of source objects:

Some source classes are further specified in defined types, such as "manuscript", "book exemplar" or "book", "encyclopedia", etc.

You will find below a short definition of each class and examples some specific types related to them. On the next page, learn in more detail how to add and work with sources in Geovistory, depending on the source class you have chosen.

Please contact the Geovistory Team if you need other specific source classes or types.

Hint: In a second step you can, if you wish, reproduce the content of your source object (or parts of it). Learn how to do this here.

Hint: Since all your sources are recorded as semantically defined classes, it is possible to treat them like entities and analyze them accordingly.

Class: Unique Source Object

A Unique Source Object is a source object with a uniquely existing content. It might be unique because the exact same words do not exist elsewhere or because the document is handwritten and thus unique in its appearance. In this sense, anything that has been handwritten may be considered unique.

Examples of types of a Unique Source Object include:

  • manuscripts,

  • preparatory sketches,

  • archival documents,

  • letters,

  • the final clean draft sent by an author or a composer to a publisher,

  • etc.

Hint: Note that each of these types could be modeled as a sub-class with specific characteristics (such as sender and recipient of letters) depending on your needs. Contact us if you need this.

Learn more about Unique Source Objects here.

Class: Serially Produced Source

A Serially Produced Source is a source object that was produced with the intention of having a multitude of copies. All copies of a given work or object produced in an industrial process contain the same creative or intellectual content (also called same creative or intellectual expression).

Examples of type of a Serially Produced Source include:

  • books,

  • PhD thesis,

  • manuals,

  • CD-albums,

  • money,

  • etc.

Note that for example in the case of a printed book, it is possible to add different publishers or editions to the same object. In the same way, a manual (technical documentation/ guideline) can be considered as a serially produced source. For example, a manual might evolve over time and be published in different versions.

Learn more about Serially Produced Sources here.

Class: Publication Exemplar

A Publication Exemplar comprises physical objects (printed books, scores, CDs, etc.) that are specific exemplars of a Serially Produced Source, such as a book containing annotations by the author or a CD with the signature of the band leader.

Examples of types of a Publication Exemplar include:

  • a particular exemplar of a book

  • a particular exemplar of a PH thesis

  • a particular exemplar of a Manual

  • a particular exemplar of a CD

  • a specific coin

  • etc.

Learn more about Publication Exemplars here.

Class: Serial Work

A Serial Work comprises objects that are, or have been planned, to be produced in sequences of objects. They often have common features (such as similar styling elements).

Examples of types of Serial Work include:

  • Scientific Revue / Journal

  • Periodic

  • Register

  • A series of photos, as long as they are different from each other but belong to the same series

Important: This class is still under construction. Important features are missing to use it productively. Please contact us in case you would like to use it.

Learn more about Serial Works here.

Class: Web Source

A Web source is the content you receive when sending a web request into the web. A web request can take the form of a URI, URL, SPARQL query etc.

Sending a web request into the web will produce, if the corresponding resource exists, a web response in the form of an web-page, HTML document, a picture, a RDF graph or an error message.

Examples of type of a Web Source include:

  • Web page

  • a Blog

  • RDF Graphics

  • URL of an image

  • etc.

Learn more about Web Sources here.

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