RDF Developer to build ‘Alpha’ archival catalogue system (D)

Closing date for applications: 22/11/2021
Specialist role
Summary of the work
Develop a consolidated pan-archival RDF metadata catalogue to meet users’ needs and implement this by building ETL processes, an RDF triple store and API services, underpinned by AWS Neptune and AWS Elasticsearch.
Latest start date
Expected contract length
Until 31 March 2022, with an option to extend by up to 6 additional months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
The National Archives
Maximum day rate
Early market engagement
We ran a Discovery phase leading to plans for an Alpha using AWS Neptune and Elasticsearch. You can read more about the project: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/our-role/plans-policies-performance-and-projects/our-plans/our-digital-cataloguing-practices/project-omega/The Discovery produced a proposal for a new Catalogue Data Model using RDF, a new identifier scheme, and transformation routines for the existing data to the new model. We have held workshops identifying the key ways that staff managing the catalogue work with the data and what they would like in future. The archivist needs to search, analyse, add to, correct, edit, enhance record descriptions so that the catalogue is properly maintained. The archivist needs to work with catalogue entries individually or as large sets, making (or reversing) bulk changes, so they can work efficiently. The archivists need to understand the version history of the catalogue so they can be confident about where the information has originated.We now seek a second development specialist to speed up progress on the following work strands:• data extraction and transformation• infrastructure• editorial workflow• API.
Who the specialist will work with
The specialist will work with a Technical Architect and two RDF Developers. The core in-house team is a data analyst/Product Manager, a senior archivist and a Service Owner and the Head of Cataloguing, Taxonomy and Data. The specialists will also work with a wider group of users including archivists across the organisation responsible for the management of the catalogue.
What the specialist will work on
We are developing a pan-archival catalogue, bringing together record descriptions from multiple catalogues into a single new system. Developer to join a Technical Architect/another RDF developer to work on the Alpha development.You will join a small team to deliver a new catalogue management system. This will involve developing API functions to search, select, add, export, edit, import, delete catalogue data; developing search for use by expert users (using SPARQL with Elasticsearch); developing an Extract, Transform, Load process to migrate catalogue data from multiple relational database (SQL Server) and RDF databases to a cloud based native RDF database (AWS Neptune).
Address where the work will take place
Whilst mainly working remotely, the Catalogue, Taxonomy and Data team is based at The National Archives, Bessant Drive, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.
Working arrangements
You may work remotely but must be prepared to attend monthly team work sessions at The National Archives at Kew (a couple of days per month). Given the situation with COVID-19, remote working will be the main arrangement for this project. Some work may be conducted at The National Archives, Bessant Drive, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, but only when it is appropriate and safe to do so.
Security clearance
Baseline security clearance will be required.
Additional terms and conditions
How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
-Have collaborative and flexible working approach, e.g. working with in-house technical and other digital specialists -Approach to supporting teams to adopt new technologies -Examples of delivering transition, knowledge transfer and handover of code -An appreciation for the importance of technical documentation as a means of ensuring ongoing maintainability of systems
Assessment methods
Evaluation weighting
Technical competence 60% Cultural fit 20% Price 20%
Essential skills and experience
  • Have experience with using standards-based ontologies/vocabularies, such as W3C PROV data model, Dublin Core and W3C ODRL
  • Have experience of validating RDF data, for example using RDF SHACL
  • Have experience of creating and working with RDF databases and SPARQL, for example AWS Neptune
  • Have experience, knowledge and understanding of building Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) processes
  • Have experience, knowledge of Java/Scala and an understanding of working with mixed content in the context of large, semi-structured datasets
  • Have experience, knowledge and understanding of implementing resilient and secure systems using IAM in a cloud context
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience developing a user interface/front end to support non-expert, editorial engagement with RDF
  • Have experience, knowledge and understanding of EAD3 and EAC-CPF

Closing date for applications: 22/11/2021

RDF Developer to build ‘Alpha’ archival catalogue system (D)

Closing date for applications: 22/11/2021

Specialist role:



No specific location, for example they can work remotely


The National Archives

Maximum day rate:


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