Exploring Hidden Connections among Historic Images
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ABSTRACT Image 5: George Frederick Image 6: James Murray
Among historical images, there are numerous implicit pair-wise Frye, Seattle, ca. 1888 Colman, Seattle, ca. 1885
EXAMPLES OF FINDINGS
connections that cannot be found using traditional keyword
searches. Two seemingly unrelated images, when put together,
might reveal some interesting patterns that were overlooked before.
The background information in the text description provides clues to
these connections. An experiment was conducted to explore the Image 1: Ladies' Aid posing Image 2: Juanita,
metadata of historical images using Literature-based Discovery outside Grace Presbyterian Eleanor, and E. Martin Henry
(LBD) methods. Several implicit relations among the images were Church, Seattle, 1922 Lewis, Seattle, ca. 1930 Yesler
identified. The result of the experiment shows that LBD can help
users better navigate and use historical image records.
DATA Presbyterian Born in Germany, George …… In 1872 he moved to
The data used for experiment was selected from the Institute of Church
Frederick Frye came to Seattle Seattle, where he operated
Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Digital Collection and Content in 1853, where he worked with Henry Yesler's mill. ……
(DCC) project. A single collection, the King County Snapshots, was Henry Yesler at his lumber mill.
chosen because of the high quality metadata provided. This is a …… Ladies' Aid posing outside ……
historical image collection with more than 12,000 items portraying Grace Presbyterian Church ……
people, places and events in the county. The Ladies' Aid was formed in …… He was ordained by the DISCUSSION
1912 for the purpose of raising Presbytery of Seattle and
funds for the church. …… Influence of Metadata Quality
METHOD served as minister of Grace
The method used in the experiment relied on the human-assigned
Presbyterian Church from
1. A-term identification. For each record, the subject of the image metadata to explore the implicit connections, thus the performance of the
1922 to 1929. ……
(A-term) was extracted from the title field. method would be influenced by the quality of the metadata. For images
2. B-term identification. The title and description field of the record with little or no description, especially background information on the
were processed using the Stanford Named Entity Recognizer. All subject, the connections are difficult to identified.
the named entities (person, organization and location names)
captured were potential B-terms that connected the A-record with Evaluation of Relatedness
another set of C-records. C-records contained images that had Image 3: Anna Louise Strong, Image 4: John Henry The relatedness in social science and humanities is very subjective, and
implicit relations to the topic represented by A-records. depends heavily on the background and information need of the users.
possibly in Seattle, 1939 Smith, Seattle, ca. 1921
3. Searching for C-records. New searches were conducted for How to automatically evaluate and rank the connections will be focus of
each B-term identified. For each record retrieved, if it was not in the further research.
set of A-records, and the subject of the image in it was not the B-
term, the record was a C-record. The image in an A-record had Application on Multiple Collections
possible implicit connection with the image in C-record. This experiment focused on a single collection. Applying the method on
4. Evaluation. Manual evaluations were performed to ensure that multiple collections should reveal more interesting connections. On the
the implicit connections identified were meaningful. I.W.W. other hand, with the increase in data size and complexity, more noise are
also expected. How to filter out trivial connections while preserving the
useful ones will be another important problem to solve.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND REFERENCE
This poster reflects topics discussed in the Literature Based Discovery
…… She was elected to the Seattle
…… A hod carrier by trade, course given at GSLIS in Fall 2008. The author is grateful to Vetle Torvik and
School Board but later was recalled
he became active in I.W.W. Qin Wei for their review of this paper and the valuable suggestions.
because of her socialist politics and
circles about 1913. ……
her support of the Industrial
Workers of the World (I.W.W.). ……