Here is a brief review of the metadata used in the DPLA online platform. you used in the last module.
Digital Object Searched: step stool
Using the search box provided on the DPLA platform, I typed step stool. I must disclaim the fact that I’m approaching this term as a librarian would normally do, by not being too specific , nor too broad in the initial searches. But, I could’ve approached this differently, in a way more long the lines of Kenneth and Price, where we should “think about how a user might find your item. Is there a unique story you’re trying to tell?” (21) I did not think about the typical user, who may conduct more specific searches, but when I do, I’ll make try to anticipate new stories as they embark on their searches.
My more-or-less generic search yielded 64 results, a pretty decent number to scroll down and find what I needed with some time in your hands.
But for the sake of the activity, I refined my search to yield a manageable number of entries to go through. The post-search limiters allowed to narrow my search by the following metadata fields:
These search limiters are essentially metadata fields or facets that will help me narrow the number of search results. Let’s now take a look at the extended record of the image I am interested in studying, entitled [Student in Library].
What features of the digital objects does the metadata describe?
The digital object metadata fields are: Subject, Type, Format, Contributing Institution, Partner, and Description, Language, and Location
What features does it not describe?
Collection_Title, Collection_Number, Format, Original_Format, Dimension, Accession_Number, Image_Number, References, Medium, Background, Alternative_Title, Contact, Date_Modified, Audience
What questions does the metadata allow you to ask?
- What type of digital object are you looking for? Is it an image, sound, text, a moving image, or a physical object?
- What is the subject of this digital object? What category of item is it? In which array of topics does it belong? Is it related to furniture, material culture, architecture, people, fishing, woodworking, music, academic libraries, Appalachia, men, or to manufacturing processes?
- Could you tell me if the original object created before 1930? After 1930? Within a time span that includes the year 1930?
- Was the textual object written in Spanish?
- Do you know for certain where the original image was taken? Was it in Africa, in Junction City?
- In which U.S. state is the object been held?
- Which entity is responsible for making contributions to this digital object?
- Which library, museum, archive, or cultural heritage institution offered DPLA content on this digital object?
What questions does it not allow you to ask?
- In which collection would you like to find this digital object?
- What’s is it? A jpeg, a PDF?
- Would you give me the digital object’s accession number? In what medium was the digital object represented?
- What type of audience would be interested in finding digital objects like the one you are looking for?
Why does metadata matter? As my mother– cataloguing librarian, Eda Correa–always says, “It matters because it’s meta, it’s about knowledge itself, about all the data elements that will take you to understand something. It has always mattered, but now, it is more crucial than ever, because of the society we live in. Just look at social media and how, one second you’re searching for a particular author and his latest works, and then 30 minutes later you may discover yourself reading a blog post about a current scandal in his personal life. It’s about discovery” Metadata seems to–in addition to manage and organize data–it actually makes people engage more content.