Design of Time Period Directories
This project proposes a means for specifying data related to named time periods, such as "Weimar" or "Elizabethan." Such terms can be ambiguous and imprecise. For example, neolithic ruins in China and in South America are from different periods, and the begin and end dates are uncertain. The ideas of the Italian Renaissance moved through Europe at different times, so that the Renaissance in France and the Renaissance in the Netherlands are not the same. Even referring strictly to the Italian Renaissance, limiting usage to reflect only a period in music or only a period in fine arts can also change the dates associated with the period name. Using specifications developed for geographical gazetteers as a starting point, I have developed a content specification for time period directories, including a thesaurus of time period categories (such as a period of rule or a cultural movement), and have implemented a prototype directory.