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  1. Encounters with metadata Angela Murphy The Image Business MILE 23 August 2007

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. NMSI - looking for taxonomies

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. The NOF-funded project • Opportunity to rationalise the subject headings • Keywords, keywords, keywords • Concepts, actions and emotions • A new system

  10. Going digital

  11. The Home Page

  12. Global Menus

  13. Browsing Using Categories

  14. Main Subject Level

  15. The Sub-Category Level

  16. The Sub-Category Level

  17. Preview A Single Image

  18. 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 ?

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. A slice of the metadata

  23. 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

  24. 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)

  25. Analogue or digital ?

  26. IPTC headers

  27. 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

  28. IPTC - Mapped fields

  29. Tagging Objects

  30. Blobgects

  31. 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