Authorities conversion for Basel African research collections

Between Museum der Kulturen, Mission 21, Basler Afrika Bibliographien, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the university, the city of Basel is host to a rare concentration of research collections linked with the African continent.

However there currently exists no single access point to the collections of these organisations, who each maintain their own catalogue and not all of which are publicly available. Led by the University of Basel library and arbim IT, the Portal for African Research Collection (PARC) project aims to unite these rich collections within a common research portal open to all.

To provide unified facet searching within PARC, it was necessary to align keywords from all participating institutions to a common vocabulary. My work consisted in mapping these keywords to the German GND authorities registry by using a combination of automated (e.g. reconciling with OpenRefine) and manual tools.


This project was done in collaboration with arbim IT.

University of Basel library

University of Basel library



  • Authorities file
  • Data migration
  • Reconciliation
  • OpenRefine
  • Union catalogue