This week we’re working on OAI harvesting, and the blog assignment is about reviewing some OAI providers. My choices:
So, when I was choosing the archives to harvest, I tried to choose the archives most similar to my own sample collection. For this part of the assignment, I just picked a few random ones that seemed interesting for whatever reason, so that I’d see something different. Like my classmates, I came across some pretty interesting stuff! For instance, in the LOC’s American Memory Project, there’s a small collection of the plays of Zora Neale Hurston!
In any case, browsing and doing some searches within each of these sites was interesting. I was a little sad to see that DLIST wasn’t really in the same league as the others in terms of scope of the collection (or appearance of the site, although that wasn’t in our evaluation criteria for this assignment).
What makes a useful federated collection? Scope, searchability, accessibility… I don’t think there’s a big distinction between “what makes a useful federated collection” and “what makes a useful collection” in general, other than size, I suppose — a federated collection with 4 items total would be a bit silly and redundant. In general, it seems that the larger the collection, the better, although when you get to something the size of OAIster, it’s difficult to browse and get a sense of what’s in the collection — serendipity only works well on a slightly smaller scale. I’d say that the sheet music had the perfect balance, since it has a very narrow scope in terms of subject matter, but a wide scope in terms of the number of total items and the variety of data indexed.