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OHA 2008 - Making Sense of Metadata: A Practical Overview for Oral Historians
 

OHA 2008 - Making Sense of Metadata: A Practical Overview for Oral Historians

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Densho\'s Director of Information and Technology Geoff Froh presents a broad overview of metadata concepts and their application to oral history projects through the experiences of the Densho project. ...

Densho\'s Director of Information and Technology Geoff Froh presents a broad overview of metadata concepts and their application to oral history projects through the experiences of the Densho project. (Delivered 10/18/2007 at the Oral History Association Annual Meeting, Pittsburg, PA)

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OHA 2008 - Making Sense of Metadata: A Practical Overview for Oral Historians OHA 2008 - Making Sense of Metadata: A Practical Overview for Oral Historians Presentation Transcript

  • The Japanese American Legacy Project Preserving the past, inspiring the future
  • Making Sense of Metadata: A Practical Overview for Oral Historians Geoff Froh, Densho OHA Pittsburgh October 18, 2008
  • Today…
    • Metadata Basics
    • Metadata Standards for Oral History
    • Metadata in Oral History Practice
  • Metadata Basics
  • What Is Metadata?
    • “ Data about data”
    • “ Structured information that describes the attributes of an information package for the purpose of identification, discovery and management” (Taylor 2004)
  • A Simple Example Title Author Publisher Date Format Bitrate Subject Size Owner
  • What Are the Types of Metadata?
    • Descriptive
      • What is it? What is it called? What is it about?
    • Administrative
      • What format is it? When was it created? Who owns it?
    • Structural
      • What are the parts? How are they related?
  • What Is a Schema?
    • A definition of the structure and semantics
      • Elements/attributes
      • Documentation of intended meaning
    • Provide rules for the values
      • Syntax
      • Controlled vocabularies
  • How Is Metadata Recorded?
    • Together with the resource
      • Embedded in the file format
      • Wrapped into a single file
    • Separate from the resource
      • Database
      • Structured flat-file (XML)
  • What Is XML?
    • Text-based format for data exchange
    • Data definition bundled with the data
    <Book> <Title>Listening Is An Act of Love</Title> <Author>Isay, David</Author> <ISBN>0143114344</ISBN> . . . </Book>
  • Why Metadata?
    • Resource Discovery
      • Help Users Find Things
    • Archiving and Preservation
    • Make Things Last
    • Interoperability
    • Allow Groups to Exchange Things
  • Metadata Standards for Oral History
  • What Are Standards And Why Would We Need Them?
    • Standards Are An Agreement:
      • To Use a Common Schema
      • To Participate and Collaborate
    • Standards Provide:
      • Interoperability (I can share what I create)
      • Guidance (I can learn how to create)
  • DC: Dublin Core
    • A generalized method for describing all kinds of electronic (and non-electronic) resources
    • Developed by broad coalition of users
    • Supported by a wide range of applications
    • Simple – 15 core elements
  • EAD: Encoded Archival Description
    • A method of encoding finding aids – a description and inventory of materials in an archive
    • From the archival and library science traditions
    • Complex
    • Archivists’ Toolkit
  • TEI: Text Encoding Initiative
    • A way of representing textual materials (monographs, performances, transcripts)
    • Used by a variety of disciplines across the humanities
    • Usually encoded by hand (oxygenXML)
    • Requires an application profile (TEI-Lite)
  • METS/PREMIS
    • A container format for digital objects
    • Focused on the exchange of resources and metadata between institutions
    • More for machines than for humans
    • Supported by a few applications (CONTENTdm); but usually custom solutions
    • Complex – modular structure
  • Why So Many Standards?
    • Different uses, different users
    • Same resource may be described in multiple ways
    • Mix and Match = OK
    • Sometimes, standards are not enough…
  • Metadata in Oral History Practice
  • Wayback Machine: Circa 2000
    • Legacy data
      • Created by non-experts
      • Trapped in silos
    • Standards still emerging
      • No good examples to follow
      • Very few tools
    • Roll our own…
  • Densho Archive Framework
  • Two Questions
    • Who Will Use Our Metadata?
    • How Will We Produce Our Metadata?
  • Who Uses Our Metadata?
    • Audience analysis
      • Staff
      • Densho Digital Archive & public website visitors
    • In the Future …
      • Partner repositories
      • Search agents
  • Metadata Tools
  • Metadata Tools
  • Metadata Tools
  • Metadata Tools
  • Metadata Tools
  • Metadata Tools
  • How Do We Produce Metadata?
    • Workflow analysis
      • When does metadata capture happen?
      • Who is responsible?
    • Custom web application – Densho Archive Manager
  • Metadata Tools
  • Metadata Tools
  • In Summary…
    • Metadata is about discovery, preservation and interoperability
    • Standards provide guidance
    • Metadata should serve local needs
  • Thank you! http://www.densho.org/ http://archive.densho.org/