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Encounters with metadata Angela Murphy The Image Business MILE 23 August 2007 Personal encounters with classification and metadata Pre-digital age - hands-on picture research Subject headings and simple arrangements Setting up a picture library Importing metadata from databases

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encounters with metadata

Encounters with metadata

Angela Murphy

The Image Business

MILE

23 August 2007

personal encounters with classification and metadata
Personal encounters with classification and metadata
  • Pre-digital age - hands-on picture research
    • Subject headings and simple arrangements
  • Setting up a picture library
    • Importing metadata from databases
    • Digitised card indexes
  • A major funded digitisation project (NMSI)
    • Thesaurii and subject hierarchies
  • Encounters with academia (Courtauld)
    • - not all projects were the same
  • Systems, metadata, and search engines
background
Background
  • 1980s: Picture editor and researcher
  • 1990s Science & Society Picture Library
  • ScM, NMPFT, NRM
  • Time Out Group, The Labour Party, Getty Images
  • Courtauld Institute
  • University of Cambridge - museums, archives, libraries
the pre digital age
The pre-digital age
  • Still applies to 90% of the world’s cultural image resources
  • The hidden resources
  • NMPFT (National Media Museum)
  • Courtauld Institute
  • Cambridge University
evolution of image metadata
Evolution of image metadata
  • Pictures: negatives, prints, transparencies
  • Need to find images

--- newspaper picture libraries, press and stock agencies

--- indexes of art history e.g. Witt Library, slide libraries, LoC image collections

working towards a subject hierarchy analogue folder tabs
Working towards a subject hierarchy - analogue folder tabs
  • Collection names
  • ScM Library Lists
  • Daily Herald
  • Daily Express

Also used

SHIC (Social History Index)

Library of Congress Subject Headings (not much use)

building on the hierarchy
Images of items in

3D Collections

Collection Names

Sub-headings adapted from the library lists, in consultation with curators

Pictures from the

Pictorial & Photography Collections

Adapted existing sub-headings

Typed up all the Daily Herald and Daily Express sub-headings

Adapted to fit into a subject hierarchy - years and years

Building on the hierarchy
the nof funded project
The NOF-funded project
  • Opportunity to rationalise the subject headings
  • Keywords, keywords, keywords
  • Concepts, actions and emotions
  • A new system
issues migrating to overseas partners
Issues: Migrating to overseas partners
  • Commercial partners did not want an xml export of metadata
  • Several had never heard of xml
  • Picture libraries receive thousands of image records every week from hundreds of different sources.
  • Which xml standard ?
courtauld institute
Courtauld Institute
  • NOF project team created powerful, sophisticated DAM
  • Day-to-day activities not integrated into project
  • Most staff prefer to use known, pre-existing, simple Access databases
  • Locked-in images/ data
  • Authority lists - ULAN and Witt
keywords and thesaurii
Keywords and thesaurii

Keyword Search

  • “Select a keyword below to initiate a new search”
  • Keywords: portraits, books, finger rings, busts
  • Keywording done via thesaurii
  • Ensures consistency, but not designed to enable unmediated searches
  • Poor results on common general searches
the bar at the folies bergere
The Bar at the Folies Bergere
  • Keywords
  • bars (1) | beer (7) | bottles (13) | dresses (108) | men (790) | mirrors (94) | necklaces (36) | oranges (2) | trapezes (1) | waitresses (2) | women (1356)
  • Keyword Search
  • Select a keyword below to initiate a new search
  • costume , textiles , furniture and furnishings , women , sport and leisure , people , people and organisations , business, commerce, industry , costume, jewellery and personal appearance , fine and applied arts, sculpture , making things , manufacturing , science and technology , visual works , domestic and social life, rites and customs , objects , coating (process) , processes , periods and styles , materials , nature , textile working , painting , waitresses , dresses , necklaces , bottles , trapezes , bars , beer , oranges , fruit , eating and drinking , botany , sports and games , jewellery , coatings (materials) , nations and peoples , paint , french , bar , canvas , containers , eating and drinking places , female people , food and drink , garments for the whole body , gymnastics , male people , mirror , oil paint , people by gender , people in service occupations , plant , vessels (containers) , plants , mirrors , men , paintings
cambridge dam project
Cambridge DAM Project
  • 8 core partners - all university departments
  • Libraries, museums, academics, technologists
  • Up to 30 potential partners
  • Broad range of issues - relating from the sophisticated to the banal
  • Organise, assess, delete, rename, add information, distribute, disseminate, earn…..
  • All involve improved use of metadata
cambridge dam project28
Cambridge DAM Project
  • University of Cambridge Library
    • Royal Commonwealth Society
    • Darwin projects
  • Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Scott Polar Research Institute
  • Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
  • Dspace
  • CARET (Centre for Advanced Research in Educational Technology)
how well does it work for us
How well does it work for us ?
  • Important as a short term solution
  • Needs to be extended in several vital areas
  • Cultural use currently inconsistent
the role of funders
The role of funders

To make more precise demands of the recipients of their funds, in order to:

  • Ensure digital preservation
  • Ensure the rights information is harvested
  • Ensure digital asset creation
  • Pay more than lip service to the idea of sustainablity and re-purposing
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