Grammar-Based Recognition of Documentary Forms and Extraction of Metadata

William Underwood


Metadata extraction is a critical aspect of ingestion of collections into digital archives and libraries. A method for automatically recognizing document types and extracting metadata from digital records has been developed. The method is based on a method for automatically annotating semantic categories such as person’s names, job titles, dates, and postal addresses that may occur in a record. It extends this method by using the semantic annotations to identify the intellectual elements of a document’s form, parsing these elements using context-free grammars that define documentary forms, and interpreting the elements of the form of the document to identify metadata such as the chronological date, author(s), addressee(s), and topic. Context-free grammars were developed for fourteen of the documentary forms occurring in Presidential records. In an experiment, the document type recognizer successfully recognized the documentary form and extracted the metadata of two-thirds of the records in a series of Presidential e-records containing twenty-one document types.

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The International Journal of Digital Curation. ISSN: 1746-8256
The IJDC is published by the University of Edinburgh
and is a publication of the Digital Curation Centre.