Wikidata and Correspondence Archives

On the Networking Archives project we’ve been using Wikidata IDs as unique identifiers for some of our data types. At present, we use Wikidata identities to disambiguate geographic places in our dataset and Wikipedia links, where available, as a unique identifier for people records.

Wikidata is a knowledge graph: a type of database which stores information in what are known as triples. The ‘things’ in Wikidata are stored as entities, which are connected by properties – which store the relationship between entities. For example: the entity ‘Henry Oldenburg’ is connected to the entity ‘Bremen’ by the property ‘Place of Birth.’ Both Oldenburg and Bremen are themselves connected to many other entities through many other properties, resulting in a complex web of interrelated data.

Click here for a blog post (with code examples) by one of our Research Fellows, Yann, on the use of Wikidata IDs and the correspondence metadata on the Networking Archives project.