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  • Research Observatory: Knowledge Organization and Indigenous Knowledge

Research Observatory: Knowledge Organization and Indigenous Knowledge

  • 26 Jan 2022
  • 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM
  • Zoom (London, UK)
  • 15



Indigenous metadata: the view from a Pākehā (non-Māori person)
By Judi Vernau

Presentation slides

As an information specialist I know that metadata is a key tool for supporting the findability, use and management of content. I am familiar with metadata standards, understand the principles of knowledge organisation, and have built many metadata schemes. But I am a Pākehā (non-Māori person), and until last year I had not considered that my Western views of findability and categorisation might not be relevant to other cultures, specifically that they might not fit with Māori mental models and language. In this talk, I describe research we carried out for Archives New Zealand (Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga) into existing indigenous metadata initiatives in New Zealand and (to a limited extent) around the world, as part of their aim to improve Māori access to their holdings.

Moving between two worlds: translating a classification system
By Edgardo Civallero

Translation is a complex process: it is not just a matter of finding connections between words in a dictionary, it is all about connecting two worlds of ideas, concepts and beliefs. And those worlds can be quite different, separated by a huge gap. In that sense, translating a western classification system such as Dewey Decimal or Universal Decimal Classifications – means connecting a limited vocabulary encompassing an entire worldview (a very particular worldview, with all its biases and problems) with another vocabulary encompassing another worldview. The challenge is not just a linguistic one, but a conceptual one: does the translation connects equivalent points? The author spoke about his experience trying (and eventually failing) to translate a classification scheme into a number of Andean indigenous languages, sharing some insights about challenges and unfeasibility.

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