Visualizing catalogue data: mapping local music in a digital environment
PublisherInternational Association of Music Libraries
Catalogue datasets are rich sources of detailed information that can be leveraged to improve access to music special collections. Datasets built from MARC metadata must be enhanced, but ultimately serve as a rich foundation on which to build digital tools such as geospatial visualizations. Presenting digital collections through a mapping environment allows users to experience a more interactive and engaging browsing experience, and can serve to highlight alternative narratives that may be missing from traditional catalogue searches. This presentation discusses an exploratory project which aims to enhance browsing of a digital historical collection of band, orchestra, and choir sound recordings from Saskatchewan, Canada through a geospatial visualization tool. The catalogue data was extracted from MARC records of the Saskatchewan Music Collection, a local music collection physically located at the Education & Music Library, University of Saskatchewan and online as a digital collection. The collection is tied together through the geography of the province, while still representing a wide variety of media, genres and time periods. Creating a visualization tool facilitates serendipitous searching of the digital collection, allowing users to browse by interacting with the collection through geographic points, which then connect to both physical and digital collections. We conducted beta testing using a broader dataset, and refined the collection after receiving feedback on a proof-of-concept map. This presentation will include a discussion of challenges and outcomes of working with library catalogue data to create geospatial visualizations, a presentation of the various tools used (OpenRefine, ArcGIS), and the process used to archive and publish the dataset online. A demonstration of the visualization will be conducted as will as a discussion of the broader application of visualizations for accessing and curating digital music collections from a discovery perspective.