Metadata as Semantic Palimpsests: The Case of PHAIDRA@unipd

  • Anna Bellotto
  • Cristiana BettellaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 988)


This paper illustrates the experience of the Library System of the University of Padova in reviewing the data model of Phaidra (Permanent Hosting, Archiving and Indexing of Digital Resources and Assets), the digital repository for the long-term management and preservation of digital objects in place since 2010, whose system was created and developed by the University of Vienna. In order to provide better informational representation and visualisation of data, both in terms of metadata quality and display, this re-examination consisted in a critical analysis of the foundational metadata profile of Phaidra, its mapping and conversion into the Dublin Core metadata schema (Dublin Core Metadata Element Set 1.1) and, at prototype level, into the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS). This paper discusses the evidence of the identified solutions being guided by two core principles: on the one hand, the distinctive valorisation of the dual analogue-digital nature of the Phaidra cultural heritage object, on the other, the metadata reuse in the visual function for the graphic updating of the new web interface, which is being done in order to encourage the discovery, even serendipitously, of its content by the digital researcher. Finally, the presentation considers the development activities being carried out by the Phaidra working groups of the Universities of Padova and Vienna, focused on the semantic evolution of the concept of metadata to open data, by presenting here an unpublished example of the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) prototype and last, but not least, suggesting the definition of a new Phaidra data model.


Cultural heritage object metadata Crosswalk Data model Web of data 



A pivotal thank you goes to the team of Phaidra, University of Padova – Lorisa Andreoli, Linda Cappellato, Yuri Carrer, Gianluca Drago, Giulio Turetta, and Antonella Zane – without whom the work illustrated in this paper would have never been existed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University Library Centre “ULC”University of PadovaPaduaItaly

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