My concern with this approach is that standard mechanisms for interacting with the data will not expect these sorts of compound values.  This would also affect other ongoing discussions, such as compound monetary amounts or other dimensions.


For example, if there are subfield indicators or XML elements embedded within a literal, rather than using the model to manage this information, queries at the model level will not work. If “Dr” is not a separate Appellation from “Snoopy”, with an appropriate Type associated with it to ensure it is known to be a prefix rather than a first name, it will be invisible to SPARQL or any other graph query language.


For names, which already support partitioning, the answer seems obvious to me that we should continue to use the model as intended.  The consistency for compound dimensions needs further discussion.  Similarly the value range for dimensions should follow existing patterns (P81a anyone?) rather than trying to embed one format within another.




From: Crm-sig <> on behalf of Martin Doerr <>
Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at 2:11 PM
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [Crm-sig] ISSUE: representing compound name strings


Dear Richard,

XML is even better. The distinction between XML tags and MARC subfield markers is not so substantial. An XML file is still a string. The question is about RDF, putting a compound into rdfs:Literal.
So, again, is there a good practice with XML elements ????



On 11/21/2018 6:58 PM, Richard Light wrote:


On 15/11/2018 21:28, Martin Doerr wrote:

Dear All,

I would expect that the library or archival community do have a good practice how to "squeeze" a compound name, such as :
"His Majesty Dr. Snoopy Hickup Miller Jr", with respective separators, in a machine readable string, that could be used as custom datatype in an rdfs:Literal as one instance of Appellation, rather than defining all possible name constituents as individual rdf properties.

Could be a MARC string? XML? TEI?

This would be very helpful for our users.


I'm pretty sure that the most recent attempt at doing this will be the subfield markers ($a, etc.) in MARC. which date from the era of punched cards.  The requirement that all of the name appears in a single string will rule out anything that might have been done in XML (where you might typically use attributes or subelements) or TEI (which is, after all, simply an XML application).

It's a nice idea, which follows the approach of encoding one 'compound' value as a single string, but I don't think we will find a ready-made standard for it.





Richard Light

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 Dr. Martin Doerr
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 Information Systems Laboratory  
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