The aim of histHub is to establish and operate a research platform for the historical sciences. The platform manages authority files on Swiss history on the one hand and, on the other, it develops digital tools for the networking of databases. With these two priorities, histHub pursues the overriding aim of improving the interoperability of research data in the field of historical sciences.
histHub’s authority files are reliable, documented and verified informations on historical entities. Each authority file has a persistent identifier and is characterized by a minimum of attributes. For example, authority files for people always have a default name and authority files for locations always have a location type. Behind the histHub authority files is a semantic data model that combines typologies and controlled vocabularies in an ontology. Through this innovative approach, the histHub authority files can be merged with existing databases. As a result, the authority files will increase. Another advantage is the qualitative expandability of the data set. The used data model allows the finest historical differences to be modeled. This opens up a variety of search queries to the users. All results can be easily downloaded and are thus open for further research projects. In addition to the authority files, histHub also provides research ontology, typologies, and related tools for editing and creating such models.
The networking of different databases increases the interoperability of existing databases. histHub develops tools based on different technologies for this basic function. With Metagrid, histHub has a networking tool that generates semi-automatic concordance storage that generates stable links between a wide variety of databases without affecting the data ownership of database operators. The tool is easy to install as a widget and is already widely used. The Geolinker works differently. The location data networking service is programmed to automatically scan large amounts of data for matches and generates automatic matching suggestions. Networking as a base operation of interoperability is more widely thought at histHub. Thus, histHub offers various open source tools as a browser application in the lab. The lab is a user-specific research environment for experimenting with data and tools.