XML Version
Bürgermeister, M., Fellegi, Z., Palkó, G., Schneider, G., Scholger, M., Steiner, E., Vasold, G. (2016). GAMS and Cirilo: research data preservation and presentation. In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, pp. 925-926.
GAMS and Cirilo: research data preservation and presentation

GAMS and Cirilo: research data preservation and presentation

1. Introduction

Modern infrastructures for the management and dissemination of humanities data face various challenges. On the one hand, sustainability and availability for long-term preservation have to be guaranteed. On the other hand, flexibility and the possibility of individual data usage play a major role in this field. The FEDORA based Asset Management System GAMS (Geisteswissenschaftliches Asset Management System – Humanities’ Asset Management System) and the corresponding Cirilo client, developed by the Centre for Information Modelling - Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ZIM-ACDH), address both demands in combining long-term preservation with a presentation and management layer. This means that all of the mentioned challenges can be solved within one infrastructure.


GAMS is an OAIS compliant infrastructure designed for the management, publication and long-term preservation of digital resources. It is based on the Open Source software FEDORA and focuses on the long-term availability and flexible use of digital content. Since 2014 it is a certified trusted digital repository in accordance with the guidelines of the Data Seal of Approval.

FEDORA offers content models for the aggregation of the digital content, metadata and processing instructions. An example for such an aggregation could be a TEI-document with XSL transformations for various dissemination formats (HTML, PDF, different views for analysis purposes etc.), an RDF datastream that handles the description of the object’s semantic relations and images with their metadata (e.g. facsimiles of the data covered in the TEI). A functional view on FEDORA’s object model includes program-controlled processes based on web services e.g. XSL transformations for dynamic outputs or automatic extraction of semantic relations within a TEI document.

3. Cirilo

Cirilo is a java application developed for content preservation and data curation in FEDORA-based repository systems. The client operates through FEDORA’s Management API (API-M) and consequently offers functionalities, which are especially suited to be used as tools for mass operations on FEDORA objects, complementing FEDORA's inbuilt administrator’s client. Cirilo exploits FEDORA’s object model by providing a collection of predefined content models optimized for specific primary sources like TEI, LIDO, METS/MODS, OAI-Records, HTML, PDF, BibTeX or external resources that can be accessed via a URL.

Several possibilities to semantically enrich the digital objects during the ingest process through different customizable mapping methods are offered: Dublin Core for exposing the objects in harvesting environments (like Europeana), geographical information to present data in map applications (like the DARIAH-DE Geo-Browser), or RDF statements that are stored in triplestores. Furthermore, extraction of semantic information, automatic addition of picture references to the object or resolving text data in combination with underlying ontologies are possible.

Since 2014, the Cirilo client has been available as an open-source tool including a comprehensive documentation, representing one of the Austrian contributions to DARIAH-EU. Thus, the entire infrastructure including repository and client is accessible as an archive-in-a-box solution for a broad user community.

4. Application

In this context, the infrastructure was adopted by the Petőfi Literary Museum as a solution for their online editions. The project DigiPhil is an online knowledge base for publishing scholarly text editions, writers' bibliographies, aggregating philological metadata and semantic annotation of these sources. At the University of Graz, GAMS hosts numerous digital editions as well as image collections and source books from various disciplines: the literary analysis of the enlightened Spectator press of the 18th century, a postcard collection with topographical and historical views on Styria from 1900 to the present or the account books of Basel from 1535 to 1610.

The workshop offers the opportunity to learn more on the underlying principles of the infrastructure and to try the mentioned functionalities of the Cirilo client in a hands-on session with a provided data sample.

  1. Burghartz, S. (2015). Jahrrechnungen der Stadt Basel 1535-1610 – digital. http://gams.uni-graz.at/srbas (accessed 16 March 2016).
  2. Cirilo Client. https://github.com/acdh/cirilo (accessed 16 March 2016).
  3. Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (2012). Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS), Recommended Practice. CCSDS 650.0-M-2 (Magenta Book) Issue 2, June 2012 http://public.ccsds.org/publications/archive/650x0m2.pdf (accessed 16 March 2016).
  4. DARIAH-DE. DARIAH-DE Geo-Browser. http://geobrowser.de.dariah.eu/ (accessed 16 March 2016)
  5. Ertler, K., Fuchs, A., Fischer, M. and Hobisch, E. (2011-2016). The Spectators in the international context. http://gams.uni-graz.at/mws (accessed 16 March 2016).
  6. Fedora Leadership Group. FEDORA Commons. http://www.fedora-commons.org/ (accessed 16 March 2016).
  7. Lagoze, C., Payette, S., Shin, E. and Wilper, C. (2005). Fedora. An Architecture for Complex Objects and their Relationships. http://arxiv.org/ftp/cs/papers/0501/0501012.pdf (accessed 16 March 2016).
  8. Petőfi Literary Museum. Tudományos szövegkiadások, bibliográfiák és kutatási adatbázisokonline tudástára. http://digiphil.hu/ (accessed 16 March 2016).
  9. Steiner, E., Stigler, J. (2015) GAMS and Cirilo Client. Policies, documentation and tutorial. http://gams.uni-graz.at/doku (accessed 16 March 2016).
  10. Stigler, J., Hofmeister, W. (2010). Edition als Interface. Möglichkeiten der Semantisierung und Kontextualisierung von domänenspezifischen Fachwissen in einem Digitalen Archiv am Beispiel der XML-basierten Augenfassung zur Hugo von Montfort-Edition. In Nutt-Kofoth, R., Plachta, B. and Woesler, W. (eds), Editio. Internationales Jahrbuch für Editionswissenschaft, 24/2010, pp. 39-56.