Under the aegis of the National e-Learning and Digital Archives Program from 2002 to 2012, the Institute of History and Philology has partnered with the National Palace Museum to build the authority file of names for The Grand Secretariat Archives in order to organize the controlled vocabulary of the database and enhance the comprehensiveness and accuracy of data retrieval. As the program came to an end the Institute became in charge of the database’s maintenance alone, receiving support from the Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC).
The authority file of names is divided in two parts: The first part contains the person’s basic information including his name, dates of birth and death, variant names, ancestral home, brief biography, lineage, expertise, publication and relations etc. The person’s variant names include stylized names, pseudonyms and posthumous names, and the relations pertain to information of the person’s relatives and social network. The second part covers the person’s CV in civil service, viz. the positions taken and period of office. This authority files offers more than what biographical facts can present because now the controlled vocabulary enables one to read a person’s historical existence in tandem with his political life. This feature exceeds the purpose of what the controlled vocabularies are for and obtains positive feedback from researchers. In consequence we have developed a search interface based on the categories of civil service so that one may look into aspects of people taking the same office in a certain period of time. This is particularly helpful in knowing more about the civil servant of lower rank, e.g. county magistrates.
However, the current authority files are predicated on the traditional structure of web of documents; therefore, they are not able to process terms involving semantic relations. The objective of this project is to collaborate with ASCDC to convert the metadata records of these files to the form of linked data and label them as Creative Commons (CC0). Once the conversion is complete, the data will be available on the LOD platform of ASCDC and free for sharing and further usage.