Vol. 13 No. 1 (2022): The Bibliographic Control in the Digital Ecosystem

Thesauri in the digital ecosystem

Anna Lucarelli
Niblioteca nazionale centrale di Firenze

Published 2022-01-13


  • Bibliographic control,
  • Linked open data,
  • Nuovo soggettario

How to Cite

Lucarelli, A. (2022). Thesauri in the digital ecosystem. JLIS.It, 13(1), 156–176. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12744


In recent years, thesauri have taken on new roles, new functions, and have shown some advantages over other knowledge organitazion systems (KOS). They are increasingly important in the linked data environment of the semantic web. The Nuovo soggettario, created and maintained by the National Central Library of Florence, is an example of the changing uses of controlled subject systems, like thesauri and subject heading lists. Thesauri are shown to be dynamic tools, essential components for the integration of data on the web, especially for mapping and to assist with interoperability among het- erogeneous resources. With the adoption of formats of the semantic web, such as RDF/SKOS, and following international standards, thesauri have evolved and have proven to be increasingly useful with free reuse and across various frameworks. To varying degrees, they have enabled increased multilingualism and conceptual equivalences, connecting information and metadata produced by institutions of different countries. As authority control systems, they interact with Wikidata and help build ‘bridges’ between worlds that were too far apart until not long ago, namely libraries, archives, and museums. Will the challenge of search engines, machine learning and artificial intelligence override the thesauri or will it make them even more involved?


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