Issue 1: How to Model Collections

Starting Date: 
2001-07-05
Working Group: 
1
Status: 
Done
Closing Date: 
2002-02-21
Background: 

Collections seem to be an intellectual construct on top of physical items. On one side, this suggests an immaterial nature. On the other side, any aggregation of items can be seen as a collection in the wider sense. As the parts and wholes are no absolute terms, a set of chessmen may not have a substantially different nature, but would be treated typically as one museum object. Therefore the integrity of a "Physical Object" is not based on physical contiguity. In particular all states of broken objects would complicate classification unnecessarily, if they whole would change from material to immaterial. 
Also important is the distinction of collection= act of collecting, collection=organization maintaining collected items, collection=" things collected, specif., as in a hobby !a collection of stamps" (Webster)". 
Important for the modeling are the properties: can a collection be destroyed by fire? Etc. Particularly curious are collections of physical objects and electronic material, which poses questions to the materiality of electronic manifestations. Also important is the handling of begin and end of the existence of a collection.

Current Proposal: 

In scope:
Model "Physical Collection" as subclass of "E19 Physical Object ". The notion of a "collection of poems" is regarded as another concept. A property "Physical Collection. is maintained by (maintains) : Actor" is needed. The collection as an organization is normally a legal body or a person.

alternative property: is curated by (curates).

Alternatively, one could use "has current keeper" as the curator?
Do we regard "has current keeper" as implied by "curates" ?
Is the curation different in practice from ownership and physical
custody?

This poses two questions:

1) which is the related activity:
Curation ,
 subclass of: Activity
 curated : Collection

Then "curated by" is a shot cut of Curation, following standard patterns.

2) How do things come in and out of the
Collection?

I propose:

Part Addition
 subclass of: Activity
 added: Physical Object
 to: Physical Object

Part Removal
 subclass of: Activity
 removed: Physical Object
 from: Physical Object

This generalizes part movement, probably useful for archtecture and
archeology.

Outcome: 

The entity "Collection" is subclass of : E24 Physical Man-Made Stuff.

scope note:

This entity describes an aggregate of items, which is maintained by an Actor following a plan of cultural relevance over time. Things may be added or taken out of a collection in pursuit of this plan. A collection is designed for a certain public, and the conservation of the collected items is normally catered for. Collective objects in the general sense, like a tomb full of gifts, a folder with stamps, a set of chessmen fall naturally under Physical Object and not under Collection. They form wholes in the sense that they share a common lifecycle, either because they physically stick together, like the folder or the tomb, or because they are kept together for their functionality, like the chessmen.

Examples for Collection are: The John Clayton Herbarium.

Properties:

is curated by (curates) : E39 Actor

 scope note: This property links the Collection to the Actor in charge for maintaining the Collection.

Part Addition
 subclass of: E11 Modification

scope note:

This Entity describes the activities by which a unit of Physical Man-Made Stuff is increased by a part. This can be either an accessory or a component, which is more or less permanently attached to or integrated into a Physical Object. It can be an element which is added to an aggregate of items, like a collection of stamps or a heap of sherds. It can be an immobile object which is added to a special collection of immobile objects curated by some organisation, e.g. caves with prehistoric findings. The objects added form afterwards part of a whole clearly identifiable by independent criteria which justify a common lifecycle of all parts of that whole - be it because they are kept together for a certain function, like a set of chessman, be it because they stick physically together like a car, or be it because they are treated, conserved and restaurated together like a collection of caves. The object subject to the addition is Man-Made, at least due to the very activity of adding. This Entity is the basis for reasoning on the continuity of history of objects, which are integrated or removed without affecting their internal identity over time, like valuable antique items or bones of saints being repeatedly integrated into precious jewelry or containers, but also museum objects being transferred from collection to collection.

 added (was added by) : E18 Physical Stuff

This property links the activity of part addition to the unit of Physical Stuff becoming part of the respective whole.

 added to(was augmented by): E24 Physical Man-Made Stuff

 (subproperty of "has modified")

This property links the activity of part addition to the whole which is augmented by the new part. As the former changes due to this act, this property is a subproperty of "has modified".

Part Removal
subclass of: E11 Modification

scope note:

This Entity describes the activities by which a unit of Physical Stuff is decreased by a part, which may in the sequence be documented with an individual identity or has been documented individually already before. This can be either an accessory or a component, which is more or less permanently detached or removed from a Physical Object. It can be an element which is taken from an aggregate of items, like a collection of stamps or a heap of sherds. It can be an immobile object which is taken out of special collection of immobile objects curated by some organisation, e.g. caves with prehistoric findings. This Entity is the basis for reasoning on the continuity of history of objects, which are integrated or removed without affecting their internal identity over time, like valuable antique items or bones of saints being repeatedly integrated into precious jewelry or containers, but also museum objects being transferred from collection to collection. In case of cutting or breaking out pieces, which had no recognizable identity before the removal, the latter should be regarded as a combination of Part Removal and production. Cases of complete decomposition of a whole into pieces, such that the whole ceases to exist under the aspect it had been documented, should be modelled as transformation, i.e. a simultaneous destruction and production. Similarly, a dissolution of a collection is a simultaneous part removal and destruction. It does not imply loss of an identifiable part. This should be documented by the Destruction of the respective item. 

removed (was removed by): E18 Physical Stuff

This property links the activity of part removal to the unit of Physical Stuff ceasing to be part of the respective whole.

 removed from (was dimished by): E18 Physical Stuff
 (subproperty of "has modified")

This property links the activity of part removal to the whole which is diminished by the new part. As the former changes due to this act, this property is a subproperty of "has modified".

Small edits to the scope note suggested by MD were incorporated and the new whole approved.

Monterey 21/2/2002.