Using BibTex for artefact description

One thing that my work on the documentation project has shown me is the need to build up a list of type artefacts that are documented in a fairly unambiguous way.

To be clear, this isn’t using bibtex per se as a catalog format but coercing the bibtex format for artefact description.

BibTex is designed for documents and while it can be bent to cover online documents and other electronic resources, such as datasets that are document like it is not designed to handle physical artefacts. However what we are doing here is not building a database of artefacts but a collection of exemplars from online electronic resources.

Whle there are a number pf perfectly good museum cataloguing format bibtext has the advantages of (a)being simple and (b) having a number of open source tools and libraries to manipulate records.

So what can we do?

Taking the Joseph Hulle poison bottle from the Museum of applied arts and sciences as an example, its wikipedia style citation is:

{{cite web 
|title=Poison, bottle of strychnine, Jacob Hulle,   London, England, 1860-1890s |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences 
|access-date=7    July 2017 
|publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

which we could coerce to something like

@misc{maas_id: 85/1323,
author = {Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences},
year = {1860-1890}, 
title = {{Poison, bottle of strychnine, Jacob Hulle, London}, 
howpublished = {}, 
note = {accessed 07 July 2017} }

which has the merits of both simplicity and legibility, as well as being machine readable if required …


About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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