Wednesday, 5 February 2014

LIB 122: Week 4 (February 4, 2014)

In class this week, we had another overview of the Dublin Core metadata schema and discussed at a greater detail, the elements related to intellectual property. Other than its wide application (on account of the flexible field definitions), Dublin Core is important because it is the lowest common mapping element for all metadata schemas; which is critical for harvesting metadata. Most of the content of this week’s lecture was very familiar from my previous archives jobs, and last semester, but several details did help me connect some dots in my understanding. For instance, when a fellow archivist volunteered to enter descriptive metadata about the Black LGBT collection, he asked if we should put the titles of the artifacts in brackets. I said no, because I had not used that convention before, but I learned today that putting “made up titles” in brackets is mandated by AACR2, the data standard for libraries. Linda added that additional brackets in metadata records should be omitted because they can interfere with searching and retrieval. We also discussed qualifiers for “dc: title”, and “dc: date” fields. I also learned that “unknown” is not appropriate to put in a date field, it would be better to leave the field blank. The logic is that the energy required to troubleshoot or analyze the data is wasted on entries that provide no information. Another mistake that catalogers make is to put “circa” in a date formatted field, which the software will not process; a solution is to make two date fields, one formatted for text, the other for traditional date information. When we talked about the subjectivity involved in identifying an object’s “dc: creator”, “dc: contributor”, and “dc: publisher”; I could see why pinning down a local procedure/standard is critical for the consistency of the data entry. We spent the second half of the class working in Photoshop, using a scrip to convert a batch of 30 TIFF images into JPEGS, then individually rotating, cropping, and adding descriptive metadata to their records.      

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