The Clarke Studios Collection and DRI MODS

Apologies for poor audio, this is due to technical issues with the sound system in the room.

The Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection is a Demonstrator Project for the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), which has digitised and catalogued materials belonging to the archives of the Harry Clarke Stained Glass Studios held in the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library in Trinity College Dublin (TCD). The collection includes designs for stained glass windows, photographs, correspondence, and documentation related to stained glass orders for clients in Ireland and abroad.

From the inception of the project, it was envisaged that the data describing this collection would be imported into the DRI, formatted in accordance with the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), a standard well suited to describing this type of library collection. However, the original metadata was not encoded using MODS, but following the local schema used by the Digital Resources and Imaging Services Department at TCD Library, which uses a flat database with fields that map loosely to MODS Lite.

Transforming the collection metadata into MODS offered an opportunity to enrich the records considerably, by documenting both the collection structure and the relationships between objects. It is important that the chosen data model be able to capture and represent rich contextual information so as to ensure effective dissemination, discoverability, and search of the preserved data. This was particularly important for the Clarke Collection, as it allowed us to describe relationships between the initial correspondence between the client and the firm; entries in the order books; and the various stages of the designs, from pencil sketches to more finished watercolour designs, and the actual stained glass windows.

This paper will explore how the TCD records were transformed into valid MODS XML, and how this XML was then mapped into the DRI's data model. We will focus on how the collection structure was created, which involved selecting the most appropriate terms from MODS for describing collection-level records, and defining relationships for linking the objects within the collection.

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