Community-Driven Knowledge Organization for Cultural Heritage Digital Libraries: The Case of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region


  • Sharon Farnel University of Alberta
  • Ali Shiri University of Alberta



Knowledge organization, Inuvialuit, Digital libraries, Community-driven research, Metadata


The Inuvialuit Digital Library ( was developed as part of the Digital Library North Project, a four-year collaboration to develop a digital library infrastructure to support preservation of and access to cultural resources in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in north western Canada. In this paper, we present the methodologies and approaches used in the development of a culturally appropriate metadata and description framework for the digital library. Specifically, we address soliciting community involvement for building knowledge organization systems, culturally appropriate feedback mechanisms for correcting knowledge organization practices, and deciding who will create the structure and format of knowledge organization systems. Specific practical considerations and decisions on culturally appropriate metadata elements are discussed, in particular such description and design elements as subjects, contributors and roles, language and dialects, geographic names and user interface functionalities.