Honorary Research Fellow, Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute,
University of Glasgow, S.Rawles@hatii.arts.gla.ac.uk
The "Spine of Information Headings" is an attempt to relate the taxonomy of emblems to
the requirements of their digital presentation.While the terminology used is based on "tradi-
tional" usages, the headings employed here are sufficiently flexible to be usable with any
emblematic format.The Spine reflects an ideal; the reality will require careful adjustment to
accommodate restrictions imposed by conventions of Dublin Core and OAI.The Spine
does, however, enjoy acceptance from a wide community of scholars working in the digiti-
zation field, notably those connected with the OpenEmblem initiative.
Information Headings, emblems, taxonomy, digital presentation.
he Spine has been devised in the belief that for any meaningful cooperation between
projects aiming to present emblematic material on the Web it is necessary to agree a
minimum (and, at the same time, optimum) set of data categories for use in such proj-
ects.The need for this became apparent at the first workshop on the digitization of emblems, held
by the Centre for Emblem Studies at the University of Glasgow in June 2001, and the Spine has
undergone continuous development since then. It is now in a form to which participants in the
OpenEmblem project can, in principle, subscribe.
The Spine presented here is a new form of what was previously called a "Template."
change of terminology indicates a further distancing from any implied link to an existing emblem
digitization project, or reliance on any existing software system. In the same way the word "Head-
ing" is used instead of "Field" to try to disengage from any implied data record, sorting, or stor-
age convention. Similarly, no attempt has been made to relate to Dublin Core metadata
conventions. The mapping of these headings to Dublin Core, and data recording and storage
mechanisms now needs to be undertaken in the context of the OpenEmblem Project.
An earlier version of the Spine was posted in September 2003, prior to the working confer-
ence held at the Herzog August Bibliothek, in Wolfenbüttel, 9-13 September 2003.The version
presented here embodies changes and improvements made in the light of discussions there, and
of comments and suggestions made since.
Information on the digitized images is not included; the Spine is concerned with the record-
ing of information about the images.That does not mean that the quality and nature of scanned
images is not important.
It seems useful to separate information about the books used in digitization projects (for which
there is already an formidable body of existing material, both paper and electronically stored,
recording their nature and location, a point agreed upon and emphasized in Wolfenbüttel), and
information about individual emblems which is our more direct concern, and which therefore
receives more detailed attention.
An early state of the template was
published by Peter M. Daly, Digitiz-
ing the European Emblem: Issues
and Prospects (New York: AMS
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