Spent yesterday in Wolverhampton at the Collection Description & Cultural Portals event, organised by Rachel Cockett of MLA West Midlands. I was talking about the Archives Hub and my other project, the Information Environment Service Registry (IESR): the first time ever that I’ve talked about both services at the same event.
The principle difference between the two is that IESR is supposed to be a machine-to-machine service for use by other applications, rather than being aimed at human users, which is the main focus of the Archives Hub. Although the developments we’re planning for the next few years will ensure that the Hub will be almost as interoperable as the IESR.
The collections described within IESR are electronic resources, rather than the physical collections of archives that you find in the Hub. Its main aim is to help owners of these resources advertise their existence; the developers of portals and cross-searching services can use IESR to identify relevant resources for their users, then. The IESR also holds information about the technical connection details for resources: the Hub’s Z39.50 service is described in there, for example. This helps the developers to set up their applications so that they can interact with the resources they want to provide for their users. As you see, now I’ve talked about the Hub and the IESR in the same presentation, I can’t stop myself. Will try to desist in the future and keep this blog an IESR-free zone.