Priem Matthias


Exploring Audiovisual Archives through Aligned Thesauri

Thesauri have since long been a key element for uniform search and annotation on large collections, such as the media collections preserved at Sound and Vision and VIAA. This talk will outline the work that has been done in a joint project between Sound & Vision and VIAA. During the project, we looked into the possibilities to link existing thesauri and built an interface on top of this to let users search through both collections. We will discuss the preparatory work, how the linking process took place, the number of terms that were eventually linked and present the demonstrator application.

During this talk we will take a look at the use of thesauri in media archives. Thesauri have since long been a key element used to uniformly annotate and search through large collections of data. We will illustrate how thesauri are being used, what potential challenges are and what opportunities can be offered by the use of semantic technologies. VIAA has conducted a number of research projects to gain experience with thesauri. During this talk we will highlight the results of the Unified Thesaurus project where we looked into the possibility to build one uniform thesaurus across different sectors. Acknowledging the fact that a "one size fits all" approach will not yield results and that linking of thesauri provides a much beter approach, we conducted further research. Together with Sound & Vision and funded by the Dutch Language Union, we were able to research whether existing thesauri can be semi-automatically linked to each other. During the project we have used the GTAA and VRT thesauri as sample thesauri. We will discuss the analysis of the content of the thesauri. We will explain how we translated the existing VRT thesaurus to SKOS and linked it to GTAA using 'cultuurlink'. Finally we will discuss the results of the linking of the thesauri and illustrate the roadmap.


Matthias Priem is manager of the archiving unit at VIAA.  VIAA is the central audiovisual archive in Flanders, preserving collections from over 100 organisations in the broadcast, archives, performing arts and cultural heritage sectors.