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UAL Research Online

Hierarchical recording of binding structures

Velios, Athanasios (2008) Hierarchical recording of binding structures. In: 36th Conference of the American Institute of Conservation, 21-24 April 2008, Denver.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Velios, Athanasios
Description:

The Ligatus research unit of the University of the Arts, London has undertaken the recording of the binding structures and materials of the manuscripts and early printed books from the library of the Saint Catherine Monastery in Sinai, Egypt. Conservators from many different countries have been engaged in both the examination of the books and the formation of a recording methodology for binding structures. About 4500 books have been examined one by one. The detail with which the recording was done resulted in a large amount of information about each book’s individual components. Organising this information has been a challenging task and a variety of data structuring models were assessed for storing the collected data. Our assessment showed that hierarchical data structuring is an efficient way to record binding information. In this paper, a recording methodology with XML hierarchies is presented, based on the experience from the Saint Catherine’s collection.
The root of the hierarchy represents the concept of the specific book being recorded and the rest of the binding components are mapped as developing branches from the root. The hierarchy offers an “infinite” number of developing branches allowing space for every piece of information about the material or structure of the book. The hierarchy acts both as a storage system for the observations and as a consistency checking mechanism which ensures that the recorded information is complete and, to a certain extent, correct. XML is a good tool for implementing hierarchies with many additional benefits. These include the long-term preservation of the recorded data, the great potential for multilingual implementations and the good support by almost all major programming languages.
The proposed methodology has successfully been tested at the Saint Catherine’s library collection, and it is proved ready to be tested on other collections.

Official Website: http://www.conservation-us.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=862&parentID=710
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Biography
Athanasios Velios is a Research Fellow at CCW. He graduated from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens with a degree in Archaeological Conservation in 1998. He has also qualification in 3D Modelling and Animation. He then moved to London to complete his PhD at the Royal College of Arts and the Imperial College. His PhD work focussed on Computer Applications to Conservation and more specifically Conservation Documentation. In 2004 he joined UAL as a Research Assistant working for the St. Catherine's project. He later became a Research Fellow and recently the deputy director of Ligatus. He has been a Principle Investigator and Co/Investigator in two large AHRC grants and has contributed to a number of successful research projects. He is a member of the AHRC peer-review college, a web admin for the International Institute for Conservation and an elected Council member of the Conservation Graduates Association in Greece. He has supervised and examined PhD research and contributed to departmental assessments in the field of Conservation. He is a keen supporter of open source software and open distribution of knowledge.

Research statement
My research focusses on Conservation Documentation and Archiving. I am looking into different ways of recording and documenting objects. I work closely with Prof. Nicholas Pickwoad on the documentation of binding structures. We have jointly developed a methodology for recording significant features of bindings which can assist in understanding the history of the book. I have developed an XML schema to formalise and validate these records. This has been extended into a glossary of bookbinding terms which acts both as a reference tool and as a recording survey form.

I am interested in the Semantic Web technologies and have been working with the Centre of Cultural Informatics at FORTH and a range of European partners for the development of a Thesaurus for bookbindings with the intention to produce a CIDOC based ontology for binding structures.

Using the same technologies I am also working in the field of archiving with specific focus on artists' archives. I have proposed an archiving methodology called "Creative Archiving" as a way to interpret artists' ideas through their own papers. I have researched the work of the artist John Latham through analysis of his archive.

I have a strong interest in the Drupal content management system as a programming platform and a web-appication delivery platform.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: XML, early printed books, manuscripts, St. Catherine's Project
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Research Centres/Networks > LIGATUS Research Centre
Date: 21 March 2008
Related Websites: http://www.ligatus.org.uk/
Event Location: Denver
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2013 12:39
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2013 12:39
Item ID: 5609
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/5609

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