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Creating a Linked Data thesaurus for Irish traditional music


Irish traditional music (ITM) is a complex system of interconnections and relationships. For example, the same tune title can refer to many different tunes, and the same tune can have many different titles. Developing a system whereby a tune can be presented with all its variants and relations, along with its source recordings, has been the work of many scholars in the field. It is only with the advent of Linked Data technologies that a solution to this issue can be truly envisaged. One element of this solution is the creation of authority files presented as SKOS thesauri, such as the ITMA (Irish Traditional Music Archive) Subject Thesaurus (IST). Best-practice in thesauri creation was followed to create the IST. Existing literature on the subject was surveyed for terms and phrases that could be included. The terms were organised within 21 facets, each facet being a discrete unit describing some element of the tradition. This research builds on ITMA’s existing Linked Data offerings. It provides a road-map for the creation of other thesauri and is a foundation stone for ITMA on which future developments in Linked Data can be built.

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Dr Judith Wusteman, UCD.


The post-graduate research (MLIS) was funded by the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

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Correspondence to Treasa Harkin.

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Harkin, T. Creating a Linked Data thesaurus for Irish traditional music. AI & Soc 37, 967–974 (2022).

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  • Linked data
  • Irish traditional music
  • Subject headings
  • Thesaurus
  • ITMA