The History of Balinese Painting
ARC Linkage Project
Due in part to the work of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in the 1930's a body of scholarship exists around the significant collections of traditional and more recent Balinese paintings held in the Australian Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, Princeton University, several important Dutch institutions and in various other significant collections around the world. This project is about using Heurist to significant aid scholars of the genre by building a virtual collection referencing all these works and cross referencing them to profiles of artists who painted them, locations where they were painted and the history of their ownership.
The project makes extensive use of the Heurist research infrastructure not only in its basic data model but also for its use of XML/XSL transformations to produce a high quality browsing display where a researcher can navigate through related content and thus gain a deeper understanding of the context of a particular work. Heurist benefits from a flexible data structure that allows new record structures to be easily defined. The can then be shared with other Heurist installations along with associated data entry forms and display templates. This facility for reuse saves effort and makes record structures combatively across databases. The project has taken many data structures from the shared pool while the deeper understanding of artwork related metadata gained has enabled the development of new artist and artwork record types.
Steven Hayes has worked in the role of systems analyst for the project. Essentially we came to the project with a mostly complete tool set which has been developed to support or many other projects. The system analyst job was largely to conceive of how to model this particular knowledge domain with already existing components if available and to define new information objects as required. As always there has been an element of training and presentation required to enable users and project stake holders to “get their head around” the Heurist way of doing things.
A well thought out, comprehensive, accessible and sustainable research resource. There is an intention to publish a book with some of the content of the database and that should be easily accommodated via Heurist and the Cocoon XML publish framework that sits alongside it.