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Heritage in Web

PI: Jakob Maziarz

The Heritage in Web research group focuses its activity on inventorying, archiving and preserving, organizing, and disseminating the heritage of past centuries in a digital society, using modern technologies. The first and most important of the tasks carried out by the group is the development of a thesaurus, organizing the metadata of legal heritage objects published on the Web. Over the past few years, a huge number of such objects have become available on the Internet, but this availability has not been accompanied by organizing them into a structure that would allow easy and intuitive classification and ordering. These tasks are to be served by metadata, which, according to a popular definition, is "structured information used to describe information resources or information objects, providing detailed data, regarding the attributes of information resources or objects, in order to facilitate their finding and identification of, as well as management of these resources" (quoted from Polish Wikipedia). The thesaurus, meanwhile, is intended to be a complete collection of legal history terms that will structure and organize metadata into a coherent whole.

The thesaurus being developed by the research group is to consist of a series of dictionaries devoted to different branches of law, at different periods of their development.  The entire thesaurus is intended to allow for a standardized classification of all legal objects, basically up to the most recent times. Since compiling it is a complex and time-consuming task, the research group is first focusing on compiling two dictionaries that are also the basis for further work: a dictionary of criminal law of the 19th and 20th centuries, and a dictionary of the system of academia (or, as we might say more contemporarily, higher education). The dictionaries are to be based on a number of the most important legal acts, legal works, and case law, so that all the terms characteristic of a particular branch of law, in both Polish and English, are included. Each entry will also be supplemented with a definition, commentary, and equivalent and relational references. The result of the work itself that is to be made available will be in a Simple Knowledge Organization System format, a system that allows the content of the dictionary to be read, taking into account hierarchical, equivalence, and associative relationships.