Today I went to a talk on Metadata given by Mary Alexander at the University of Alabama Digital Humanities Center. She discussed how metadata was applied to two digital projects—one a collection of photos and the other a textual document archive.
The photographic collection, called the Black Belt 100 Lenses, was set up using Omeka with Dublin Core elements. This project incorporated crowdsourced tagging to aid in subject content description. The textual project, writings of a cloistered nun in Colombia during the 1600s, was encoded in XML with TEI standards. The digitization of the textual work will preserve writings not typically found and make this resource available for future research.
Ms. Alexander covered many topics we’ve discussed in class or in blog posts such as defining metadata, metadata and phone records, OAI metadata harvesting, and controlled vocabularies. She shared her process in creating metadata, starting with a spreadsheet and choosing elements first. She made the point that when assigning controlled vocabularies, it is better to be broad and certain than specific and wrong. The biggest take away was that the underlying metadata is what makes these digital projects possible.
It was a great talk, and I think all in our class would have followed along easily and realized how much we’ve learned about metadata.