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Cataloguing, Metadata, Search and Retrieval. HATII Tuesday, 28 October 2008 David T. Macknet. Catalogues. Who creates them? Why does it matter? What do they look like?. Formats of Catalogues / Finding Aids. Index Cards Printed Lists Electronic resources Onsite Offsite.

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cataloguing metadata search and retrieval

Cataloguing, Metadata, Search and Retrieval


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

David T. Macknet

  • Who creates them?
  • Why does it matter?
  • What do they look like?
formats of catalogues finding aids
Formats of Catalogues / Finding Aids
  • Index Cards
  • Printed Lists
  • Electronic resources
    • Onsite
    • Offsite
to whom is it important
To whom is it important?
  • Users
  • Managers
  • Staff
  • Standards
where do libraries fit
Where do libraries fit?
  • Discrete objects
  • Multiple copies
  • Filed according to subject, not provenance

*Provenance: The history of the ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality; a documented record of this. This is distinct from origin.

  • Contain unique items
  • Have a natural, hierarchical arrangement. (reflects the way the organisation operated, or the person managed their life)
  • Collections not always catalogued down to the individual item level.
  • What is an Archive “Item?”
archives cont
  • Provenance
  • Original Order
  • Context (i.e., metadata)

Archives are evidence! They reflect the way in which an organisation operated, what that organisation believed to be important, and are as close as you can get to what the archive creator actually thought at the time.

archives cont1
Archives (cont.)
  • Are sometimes artificial collections(e.g. Mackintosh Style Art Collection)
  • Special Collections – e.g. something which caught the eye of some one individual (Bayer collection at GUL)
archives cont2
  • Archives: those records created or received by an organisation or individual in the course of their activities and selected as worthy of long-term retention for evidential, informational, or research value

ICA Glossary of Archival Terms

archives cont3
  • Any format (paper, parchment, microform, drawings, photographs, computer records, etc.)
  • Unique items, as opposed to merely rare items.
  • 1-5% of records created by an organisation.

All archives are records, but not all records are archives.

finding your way around
Finding your way around.
  • Archives are Hierarchical (from general to specific / macro to micro).
  • Unique reference number based upon the hierarchy of the archive
    • e.g. Repository ref/collection ref/series ref/item ref: GB1828/F2/3/4
  • Covering date(s)
  • Description of format and content
  • International Standards
  • ISAD(g)2
    • General guidance for the preparation of archival descriptions. To be used in conjunction with applicable national standards, or as the basis for the development of national standards.
  • EAD
    • Encoded Archival Descriptions (see
why metadata
Why Metadata?
  • Description is a surrogate for the original record.
  • Offers access points for the archive.
  • Provides user and manager of archives with information on
    • Context of records
    • Physical characteristics
    • Intellectual contents

Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.Farm Security Administration borrower, vicinity of Frederiksted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands1941 Dec. 1 slide : color.

Notes:Title from FSA or OWI agency caption.Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944.

Subjects:FarmersFarm reliefUnited States--Virgin Islands of the United States--Frederiksted

Format: Slides--Color

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA,

Part Of: Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Collection 11671-26 (DLC) 93845501General information about the FSA/OWI Color Photographs is available at

Persistent URL: Number: LC-USF35-460 

Additional information about this photograph might be available through the Flickr Commons project at

examples of finding aids
Examples of Finding Aids
  • The Stephen Woodruff Archive
  • Diaries, 1982-1991
  • Correspondence, 1979-2001
  • University Papers, 1995-2001
examples of finding aids1
Examples of Finding Aids
  • Part of the summary list at the start of the catalogue
  • DC1001 The Stephen Woodruff Archive
  • [biographical History]
  • DC1001/1 Diaries
  • DC1001/2 Correspondence
  • 2/1 Personal
  • 2/2 Professional
  • DC1001/3 University Papers
  • 3/1 Undergraduate
  • 3/2 Postgraduate
examples of finding aids2
Examples of Finding Aids
  • Series and Item level
    • DC1001 The Stephen Woodruff Archive
    • 3/1 Undergraduate Papers
    • 3/1/2 Classics
    • 3/1/2/1 First Year
    • 3/1/2/1/1 Homer
    • 3/1/2/1/2 Latin Grammar
    • 3/1/2/1/3 Folder of Lecture Notes

DC 1001/3/2/2

Lecture note A

museums galleries
Museums / Galleries
  • Unique items
  • Limited Public Access
  • Artificial collections