Singapore Workshop on a Japanese Performing Arts Resource Center
シンガポール シンポジウム ・日本舞台芸術リソースセンター
June 24-26, 2005
National University of Singapore

Generously funded by The Japan Foundation

Individual Presentation Abstract


Susan Specter
GloPAC Managing Editor and Trainer, GloPAC at Cornell
Joshua Young
GloPAC Coordinator, GloPAC at Cornell

Drawing on the Global Performing Arts Database to Create a Japanese Performing Arts Resource Center

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All digital objects (images, texts, videos, audio recordings, 3-D models) used in Performing Arts Resource Centers (PARCs) reside in the Global Performing Arts Database (GloPAD), where descriptive information can be found that goes far beyond a simple ID number. In creating a PARC, you can draw from digital objects already in GloPAD as well as enter new objects from your collections.

In this presentation we will guide you through GloPAD's editors' and public Web interfaces, providing you with an overview of the system and its conceptual structure. Sunday's training session will focus on how to use the editors' interface to upload digital objects and their accompanying descriptive information.

GloPAD has many features that can be utilized when creating a PARC. For example, an interactive play script, timeline, or any other type of learning module can include images, video clips, and 3-D models that are already in GloPAD, plus their accompanying metadata. Clicking on an image of a mask in the PARC would take the user to its record in GloPAD, where he would see the metadata describing the mask, its creator, the actor who wore it, and the piece in which it was used. An interactive glossary can draw on the digital objects in GloPAD in the same way, plus all relevant vocabulary terms and character names entered by GloPAD editors could be exported to the PARC glossary. All suggestions from conference participants of how GloPAD might be used in creating a PARC are encouraged.

To view what is currently in GloPAD, go to the Global Performing Arts Consortium website ( and click on “Database.” This is the public interface, where you will find a list of sample searches that will return large sets of records. When you open a record in the search results, a variety of descriptive information is displayed in addition to the full image, video, audio recording, or 3-D model.

In addition to the GloPAD ID, rights statement, and ordering information, digital objects depicting performances include information such as performance date, piece and production names, and performance people and their functions. Objects that depict something other than a performance (e.g., a costume or prop), which we call a “component,” include information such as component type, date created and by whom, associated piece and production, dimensions, inscriptions, and object material.

Further layers of information describing pieces, productions, and people can also be viewed by clicking on their links on the digital object page. Each of these pages of description is called a “record,” of which there are currently four types:

  1. Digital Object records describe a single digital object and what is represented within it, as well as information about its source object,
  2. Person records give biographical descriptions,
  3. Piece records describe a performing art composition such as a play, and
  4. Production records describe the event of the performance or set of performances of a performing art.

Records describing performing art types, performing art groups, and places will be available soon as well.

All of the above information is entered by GloPAD editors using the editors' interface, also on the Web, with separate data entry forms for each type of record. A record for an individual person, piece, or production is created only once and then linked to other digital object, person, piece, or production records as needed. For instance, when a record for the piece Yamanba is created, it is automatically added to a pull-down list of all piece records in the database. Yamanba can then be selected from the list when creating a record for a production in which it was performed, thereby linking the piece record—with all its metadata—to the production record. It can also be selected when describing a costume worn during a performance of Yamanba , linking the piece record to the digital object/component record.

In addition to English, information that has been entered in Japanese, Russian, Chinese, or German (more languages to be added in the future) can be seen on the public interface by selecting the appropriate language from any page on the GloPAD site. There are two levels of language display:

  1. metadata for individual records, which is entered by editors using data entry forms on the editors' interface, and
  2. field labels, navigation buttons, and other text on the site, which is entered by Global Performing Arts Consortium staff.

An online help system is available on the editors' interface, which includes instructions for preparing digital objects; creating, editing, and linking records; adding terms to vocabulary lists; multilingual data entry; and giving feedback and requesting help; in addition to definitions, instructions, and examples for every field on the data entry forms. Editors also receive personalized training through workshops and correspondence with GloPAC's managing editor and trainer. We will introduce you to the editing and feedback systems during the training workshop on Sunday, June 26.

We have recently redesigned GloPAD's metadata structure—adding many new fields and controlled vocabulary lists to the editors' interface, developed a new public interface, and added multilingual functions on both the editors' and public interfaces. Editors from partner institutions have been testing the new systems by entering 2,000 new digital objects and their accompanying multilingual metadata, and have made many important suggestions for improvements. We look to participants in Developing an On-line Japanese Resource Center to make valuable contributions as well, as you begin to develop a Japanese Performing Arts Resource Center that intersects with the content and functionality of GloPAD.


GloPAD home page (public interface):, click on "Database"
GloPAD editors' interface: (This site cannot be accessed without an account; participants will be given accounts during the Sunday training session.)



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