Gosh, where does the time go these days? I can’t believe it’s already 19.00.
I mentioned in my earlier post that I am supposed to be working on building an ontology for the ‘From Metadata to Linked Data’ course I participated in this semester. Although I was not officially a student this year, I was allowed to sit in on the classes for this module that I didn’t do when I was a student on the M.Phil in DHC last year. I realised in hindsight when I started working on my thesis last summer, that I probably should have taken the module.
I seem to be totally out of the student mindset and I’m finding it hard enough to apply myself to get the project done. The aim is to build an ontology using Protégé which is a great tool. If you are interested in trying it out, there is a very helpful step-by-step guide by The University of Manchester.
Thom’s Directory was first published in 1844 by Alexander Thom. It was published annually and contained infomation and statistics relating to clubs, societies, institutions, businesses and dwellings relating to Ireland. A part of each publication of the directory contained information on Dublin City and County. This information included a directory listing the names of the inhabitants of each of the buildings on every street in Dublin.
The National Archive of Ireland (NAI) has used pages from Thom’s Directory in an online exhibition of documents relating to James Joyce, his family and friends, and his fiction. In one example, they show a page from the 1904 directory which lists the occupiers of Clanbrassil Street, which was then at the heart of Dublin’s Jewish quarter. The commentary on the NAI site outlines how in the Ithaca episode of Ulysses, there is a reference to Leopold Bloom’s father who was resident at no 52 Clanbrassil Street, Dublin. They have taken excerpts from the book and used documents from their collections to add context to the excerpts. I did not know until I came across that exhibition recently that “the Thom’s Directory for 1904 was one of Joyce’s essential tools while writing Ulysses”.
In terms of my project, I unfortunately haven’t even got so far as to start it yet as I can’t seem to fix my idea. I would like to do something using the Thom’s directory listings for the area where I live and see if I can track changes in premises ownership / purpose over time.
However, I’m running into some problems with this idea:
- I’m not sure an ontology is the most appropriate way to answer my question.
- There is a Thom’s Online Directory, but I am not sure how comprehensive the listings are and they charge.
- I need to figure out what I could do with the sample of relevant pages from Thom’s Irish Almanac and Official Directory 1869 – 1900. The current format of this sample looks a lot like this:
While I think that there is a wealth of information here, I seem to be lacking the external motivation of getting a good grade to push me. I need to put more time into this. I am hoping to get more time to work on this over the Easter break and figure out exactly what I might be able to do with this.