Developing the Collection Graph

Tobias Blanke, Michael Bryant, Reto Speck

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Library Hi Tech, Volume 33, Issue 4, November 2015.
Purpose In 2010 the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) was funded to support research into the Holocaust. The project follows on from significant efforts in the past to develop and record the collections of the Holocaust in several national initiatives. This paper will introduce the efforts by EHRI to create a flexible research environment using graph databases. We concentrate on the added features and design decisions to enable efficient processing of collection information as a graph. Design/methodology/approach The paper concentrates on the specific customizations EHRI had to develop, as the graph database approach is new, and we could not rely on existing solutions. We describe the serialisations of collections in the graph to provide for efficient processing. Because the EHRI infrastructure is highly distributed, we also had to invest a lot of effort into reliable distributed access control mechanisms. Finally, we analyse our user-facing work on a portal and a virtual research environment in order to discover, share and analyse Holocaust material. Findings Using the novel graph dabatase approache, we first present how we can model collection information as graphs and why this is so effective, how we secondly make them persistent and which access management we need for that and thirdly how we integrate user interaction with the data and develop a virtual research environment Originality/value Scholars require specialized access to information. We present the results of our work to develop integrated research with collections on the Holocaust researchers and our proposals for a socio-technical ecosystem based on graph database technologies. The use of graph databases is new and we needed to work on several innovative costumisations to make them work in our domain. These are the main focus of this paper.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 07 Oct 2015


  • library and information sciences


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