Item talk:Q21217

From Semantic Lab
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Linked Jazz Oral History Network Wikibase Project Page

Project Description

The Linked Jazz Oral History Network project was an early linked open data investigation within the Linked Jazz project. Started in 2011 and ongoing, Linked Jazz focuses on the development of linked open data methods and discovery tools applied to digital cultural materials from jazz archives and special collections. In its early investigations, Linked Jazz experimented with a variety of resource objects, from photograph collections to musician union lists. The Linked Jazz Oral History Network was its centerpiece. It was based strictly on transcribed oral histories--interviews with musicians and other figures from the jazz world--with the goal to graph the social network represented across these interviews as linked open data. Building on the social graph data derived from interviews, Linked Jazz was able to create Linked Jazz visualization tools that enabled deeper navigation of the source material, as well as provide end users with semantically enabled data that could be interlinked with other datasets.

In 2018, Semantic Lab began migrating its legacy oral history data from an internal SQL instance to Wikibase. The migration work of the legacy data was completed in 2020. Data from parallel Linked Jazz projects, as well as project data derived from Semantic Lab projects belonging to other subject domains, are also stored in Semantic Lab’s Wikibase. Storage in Wikibase provides end users with access to project data both as single entity records as well as queryable data via a SPARQL endpoint. As Semantic Lab’s projects continue to grow, the storage of all project data in Wikibase using a uniform data model enables custom queries across multiple Semantic Lab projects according to interest: Linked Jazz Oral History Network data only, data from all Linked Jazz projects, as well as wider queries for results that intersect with other Semantic Lab projects. For a full list of Semantic Lab’s Linked Jazz subprojects, please read the Linked Jazz project description.

The original Linked Jazz project was conceived as an experiment in building cultural heritage tools for the creation of linked open data and advancement of content discovery. As Semantic Lab continues to expand the Linked Jazz Oral History Network, corrections to the legacy data, when needed, are made directly here on this Wikibase.


The Linked Jazz Oral History Network project was an early Semantic Lab investigation that experimented with the application of semantic web technologies to archival resources. Using digitized interview transcripts from collections around the United States, Linked Jazz developed tools to extract person names from these documents to create a representation of the jazz community as graphed data. Two people in the graph are linked to one another through the basic concept that a person who mentions another person in an interview “knows of” that other person. In Semantic Lab’s graphed data, “knows of” relationships between people are also graphed in connection to excerpts from the original interview:

Vi Redd's Semantic Lab record showing all "knows of" relationships from her interview
SPARQL query example of people who "know of" Mary Lou Williams as derived from their interviews

To learn more about these tools and the creation of linked open data for this project, please refer to the Linked Jazz website.

In total, Linked Jazz processed over 50 interviews from jazz collections. This includes a later phase of the project in 2014 that focused on interviews with women. (for more information, see the Women of Jazz project description). Interviews represented in this project originated from the collections of the following institutions:

Hamilton College
Rutgers University
Smithsonian Institute
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Michigan

52nd Street Platform

In addition to the interactive network tool mentioned above, Linked Jazz also created the 52nd Street platform, a relationship refinement tool to allow audiences to refine “knows of” relationships based on content in the interviews. Therefore, concurrent relationships to the baseline “knows of” may exist between two people in our graph. These crowdsourced relationship properties are:

knows of (P29)
mentor of (P30)
collaborated with (P31)
acquaintance of (P32)
has met (P33)
friend of (P34)
in music group with (P35)
played with (P36)
played under (P37)
toured with (P38)
influenced by (P39)

Project Data

Note: If you would like to read a general description about data on Semantic Lab’s Wikibase and various ways to query data, please see the home page for Semantic Lab’s Wikibase.

SPARQL query to retrieve the list of all records associated with the Linked Jazz Oral History Network project

SPARQL query to retrieve the list of person records associated with the Linked Jazz Oral History Network project

SPARQL query to list all properties currently used by the Linked Jazz Oral History Network project

SPARQL query to list all interviews that were part of the Linked Jazz Oral History project