Connecting Archives, Connecting People

Photographs including a letter showing personal information from BIAA archive. ©BIAA_PH15368
Photographs including a letter showing personal information from BIAA archive. ©BIAA_PH15368


BIAA, Ankara, Turkey

Other Project Team members

Rainer Simon (Consultant)

Gonca Özger (Repository Assistant, BIAA)

Orhun Uğur (Digital Archivist, BIAA)

Synopsis and Position

‘Connecting Archives, Connecting People’ is a new digital repository initiative led by the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA) in partnership with the British Institute for Libyan & Northern African Studies (BILNAS), both British International Research Institutes (BIRI). This project aims to widen access to archives by focusing on the concept of ‘creators’ – the people who collect, create, and interpret archival material – as ways to connect documents and information hosted in different institutions.

Connecting information between the different Institutes’ archives will be an important contribution to making knowledge around the artefacts, excavations, cultural events and other materials richer and more complementary, as it will add multiple perspectives on entities that appear in more than one collection.

Objectives and Methods

In the first phase of the project, the BIAA will work with BILNAS to generate and curate key personal name datasets. After comparison, authority links will be added using VIAF, LCAH and Wikidata to clarify the identity of specific individuals and standardise the terminology used throughout the databases. A Linked Open Data (LOD) template will be created, along with workflow and guidance documents in English, Arabic and Turkish.

This methodology will then be shared with the British International Research Institutes (BIRI) housing collections relating to Iraq, Italy, Greece, East Africa, the Levant, Iran and the wider Persionate world. Finally, two online workshops will be organised to disseminate results and share best practices with other galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs).

Workshops and Events

Two online events for relevant stakeholders to share the project results. Dates TBC.


Current Activities:

    • Checking and analysing archival records for information on ‘creators’
    • Researching similar projects to identify good practices.

Upcoming Activities:

    • Prepare catalogue information for personal name datasets
    • Compare BIAA & BILNAS personal name datasets
    • Linking personal name datasets with relevant authority records
    • Creating Linked Open Data (LOD) infrastructure for common personal names data
    • Preparing workflow and guidance documents
    • Translating workflow and guidance documents into English and Arabic

Çankaya, Atatürk Blv No:154, 06690 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey