Alpha Model Release (May 6, 2021)

Sharon Leon
May 6, 2021

Today marks the first release of the On These Grounds descriptive model for events involving enslaved people laboring for colleges and universities. This first version of the model is the result of nine months of drafting, testing, and revision by the Core OTG team, and it lays the foundation for the next round of testing with our Collaborative Testing Partners, who will be selected in June.

The model includes the elements of four key kinds of records that interlink to represent the historical record. The first is the Event Record, which is the primary element of description. Each instance of an event involving an enslaved person can be describe with this form. Then, the other three record types, Person, Organization, and Place, are connected to the Event Record to fill out the context of the description. All of the records are supported by a set of controlled vocabularies that help to standarize and classify important elements of the description.

The Event Type Controlled Vocabulary is the most important of classification standards for the model. It outlines fifteen major types of events, each of which has a number of subtypes. The OTG Team has worked hard to be sure that the types and subtypes represent the full range of possible experiences present in the archival record. However, the crucial testing that our Collaborative Partners will do over the next year will help us refine and expand those types if necessary.

We hope that the release will help prospective partners as they consider participating in testing. Also, to aid in that planning, we've provided a potential calendar for Collaborative Testing Partners that outlines the process we foresee undertaking during the testing period. We'll refine this schedule at the initial meeting of testing partners.

Remember, applications to be a Collaborative Testing Partner are due on June 1, and we are happy to answer any questions that you might have.

< Previous page Next page >