Profit & Pleasure in Goat Keeping

Posted by Mark Matienzo in February 26, 2015.

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Two weeks ago, we officially announced the initial release of Krikri, our new metadata aggregation, mapping, and enrichment toolkit.

In light of its importance, we would like to take a moment for a more informal introduction to the newest members of DPLA’s herd. Krikri and Heiðrún (a.k.a. Heidrun; pronounced like hey-droon) are key to many of DPLA’s plans and serve as a critical piece of infrastructure for DPLA.

They are also names for, or types, of goats.

National Archives and Records Administration.

National Archives and Records Administration.

Why goats? As naturally curious, browsing animals that will try to consume almost anything, our new caprine friends are especially suited to their role in uncovering and sharing treasures of our cultural heritage (by consuming metadata and producing enriched Linked Data).

Krikri makes it possible to harvest from multiple sources (e.g. OAI-PMH), map the resulting metadata to Linked Data, and perform quality control and data enrichment.

We’ve taken care to build these features to be broadly useful so we can share with others doing similar work.  So the name is fitting, as Kri-Kri is a feral goat.

Heidrun, Krikri’s ruminating counterpart, is DPLA’s local implementation of the Krikri features. This is the application that handles the harvests specific to our partners and enriches metadata for the DPLA Portal and Platform API. Heiðrún is named after the mythical Norse goat that eats the leaves and buds off the tree Læraðr and produces mead—enough for all to have their fill.  We couldn’t think of a better goat to represent DPLA!

The title of this post notwithstanding, we remain as committed as ever to openness and to free, democratic access to knowledge. Accordingly, both Krikri and Heidrun are free and open source software.

Goats are notorious escape artists, anyhow. Let us know if any of ours wander into your backyards.

You can find more information about Krikri and Heidrun at our overview page for the project, and in the form of a recent presentation at Code4lib 2015 (video).

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library.