Since its inauguration in 1975, de Appel presented 1131 events and exhibitions, made in collaborations with 29.682 people, 945 collectives, and 4.134 institutes from 436 cities and 68 countries. It had 6 directors, and 5 interim directors, and occupied 7 different addresses in Amsterdam and had at least one nomadic period. The Archive of de Appel today has around 13.188 books, 3.043 magazines, 469 videos and films, 266 audio recordings, 221 posters, 191 artworks, 113 articles and innumerable photographs.
De Appel Archive tells a multitude of stories about De Appel’s living past and lively present through books, ephemera, video, audio, manuscripts, correspondence, witness reports and art.
The documentation centre that the founder of De Appel, Wies Smals, started in 1975 is now known as De Appel Archive. The archive is constantly being expanded with records like books, ephemera, video, audio, manuscripts, correspondence, witness reports and art works of exhibitions and performances, but also of lectures, symposia, informal presentations, conversations and other events.
Bibliograph is a full-stack digital environment custom made for cultural libraries and archives. It works as a layer on top of the existing databases. Through Bibliograph readers, researchers and staff can manipulate content, share and reuse data without interfering in the original database of libraries and archives. Bibliograph allows users that have domain specific knowledge to annotate pages while reading, and to add linked data to a graph database through a semantic model. This is achieved by combining different micro tools, such as text annotation and voice recording.
The text annotation tool offers 6 different labels Place, Period, Person, Organization, Object, Events, Terms and Phrases. The set of available concepts generate movement and circularity as data from the content of an object such as a book will relate to the metadata of other books. Every new piece of data will affect different regions of the graph. All declared relationships reveal implicit relationships (inference), producing new knowledges within the collection.
In a next step of development, we will add Natural Language Processing (NLP) features to enhance reading. Through annotation, when a word is tagged, all the other occurrences of the same word will also be identified. This will allow for the reader to easily see how a term, concept, person, organization or place occurs throughout the collection, and how they relate with other materials. Through text mining tools, the reader will be able to access all the paragraphs in which a term occurs, expand, or narrow the selection.
The voice recording micro-tool is intended for recording fragments of texts. From a sentence to a paragraph at a time. Each recorded fragment will add to the metadata and becomes immediately available for playing. Content of audio fragments are also annotated, allowing for queries to be played as audio. (Coming soon)
As a result of aggregating data, Bibliograph offers Play, a menu of functions that allow for visualization, navigation and browsing of collections through the representation of bookshelves, spines, covers, pages, recordings and annotations, and in relation to different periods, places, people and organizations, events, terms and phrases.
The Bibliograph ontological model aims to depict the minimal set of upper and mid layer concepts, relationships and definitions required to represent and express the vaster universe of concepts present in the realm of cultural libraries and archives. It can be pragmatically developed based on the input of librarians, researchers, artists, and scholars from different disciplines.
The Bibliograph ontology is based on OFAR, Ontology for artistic Research, developed by medical doctor and computer scientist Mariana Casella dos Santos (1976-2019). OFAR aims are
— to accommodate different levels of granularity
— indefinite expandability: the model remains consistent with increasing content
— content and context independence: any kind of 'concept' can find its place
We believe that every archive has a story to tell. For this reason, the development always starts through a careful study of the collection, of the history of the institution and their existing databases. This will reflect in the semantic model.
The semantic model is based on an upper/mid-level ontology, and it is intended to support knowledge graphs for cultural libraries and GLAM. Based on this general framework we further develop a model that is specific to the cultural archive domain so that archivists, librarians, artists and researchers can gain a better insight into the content of their collections.
Archival Consciousness was initiated by artist Mariana Lanari and graphic designer Remco van Bladel to collaborate with libraries and archives in cultural institutions. We work in close collaboration with archivists to implement methods and infrastructure to turn their collections into data. We are interested in the long term preservation and dissemination of physical archives, in connection with the digital archive. The digital component of archives, their databases, are the starting point of our work. We are developing a shared and community driven graph that acts as an interaction layer on top of the existing databases of libraries and archives. In this way, we bring linked-data aggregation to the application layer, to serve the user in the frontend, subverting its current use intended for search engines. This will facilitate browsing and navigation through explorative features of graph algorithms.
Data Architecture • Mariana Lanari
Design • Remco van Bladel
Design assistants • Julia Waraksa, Mathijs Affman
UI/UX and front-end development • Joes Koppers, USE.media
Back-end development • Paul Jongsma, Webtic
Curator de Appel Archive • Nell Donkers
Technical Support de Appel • Jan Jaap Spreij
Staff Archive de Appel: Mohamad Dib, Jacquine van Elsberg, Jan van Geem, Judith de Bruyn, Matt Hinkley, Artemis Christidi, Lynn Salentijn, Harald van Eck.
Curatorial Program: Monika Georgieva, Chala Westerman, Ka-Tjun Hau, Melissa Appleton.
RFID tagging: Lotte Donkers, Thomas van den Hoorn, Annepiet Nouwen, Elle Horsselenberg, Jade Poolen, Emma Vermeyerek, Edith van Kan, Danai Giannoglou, Liza Nijhuis, Lucie von Eugen, Clara Tibery.
Archival Consciousness is part of ACKnowledge, Art Routes from the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA), 2020 and supported by Creative Industries fund NL, Digital Culture program and MediaFutures. This project has received funding from the European Union’s framework Horizon 2020 for research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 951962