Back to Basics – Cataloging Workflows and Solutions
Kelly Smith, Visual Resources Librarian – Lafayette College
Annual Con...
Shared Shelf
Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930)|
Printer: Curlee Raven Holton (American, born 1951)|
Printmaking Studio: Experimental...
Kelly Smith
Visual Resources Librarian
Lafayette College
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith
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VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith


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Presented by Kelly Smith at the Annual Conference of the Visual Resources Association, March 12-15, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Session #6: Back to Basics — Cataloging Workflows and Solutions ORGANIZER/MODERATOR: Jennifer Kniesch, Dickinson College
• Marie Elia, Warhol Museum
• Vicki Sipe, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
• Kelly Smith, Lafayette College
• Shalimar Fojas White, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Sometimes the abyss of cataloging can leave some of us questioning, searching, harvesting, and questioning more. In this session you’ll hear from four professionals who will provide their step-by-step procedures for cataloging: from how analog and digital assets are cataloged to uploading assets in a Digital Asset Management System. We will hear about the speakers’ institutional projects, pitfalls and triumphs in cataloging, and the cost of trying to make cataloging work. Each speaker will present on their topic and time will be left at the end of the session for Q&A.

Marie Elia will provide details on how The Warhol Museum uses a combination of cataloging standards (analog and digital) to accommodate an art collection that is composed of archival materials, as well as the Warhol’s Content Management System. Vicki Sipe will discuss her step-by-step collaborative cataloging process involving University of Maryland’s Baltimore County Special Collections and University of Maryland’s Baltimore County Bibliographic and Metadata Services using historic image collections as examples. Shalimar Fojas White will explain how she and her team are currently migrating records out of legacy databases and into a new Content Management System, that is being developed with a VRA Core template. Kelly Smith will describe how Shared Shelf fits into the workflow of day to day cataloging for Lafayette College's Visual Resources Collection and how it is being explored as an option for other digital projects and needs across campus. Is there a best workflow and can we find a solution for our respective institutions?

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  • Presentation overview:Workflow I inherited for the Visual Resources Collection at Lafayette College and how I slightly altered it upon arrival;My ideal workflow and some of the challenges and concerns with transitioning to new workflows and new systems; andIntegrating workflows and using Shared Shelf for new projects.Image Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
  • LafayetteCollege is a small, liberal arts, residential, undergraduate college with about 2,400 students and 215 faculty members. For 2 years, I have served as the Visual Resources Librarian. Like many of us in the field, I am between departments. My position is jointly funded by the library and the art department, giving me broader support for ongoing responsibilities and new projects, but this does not come without its own challenges.Before my arrival, this position was firmly situated in the Art Department only. Now under the library, the Visual Resources Librarian is charged with working with people across campus and this, among other reasons I will discuss today, initiated my rethinking of my cataloging workflow, which I am still in the midst of. I am part of the library’s Digital Scholarship Services department, which handles the digital projects and digital collections taking place across campus, but when it comes to cataloging for the Visual Resources Collection, I am still very much a “one-woman show”. Figuring out where my cataloging workflow exists within the larger context is something I continue to explore.
  • My inherited workflow utilizedPICtor as the image management system for administrative and descriptive cataloging. Developed by Cornell University and Princeton University, PICtor is a relational Access-based database. Our installment is a closed system, only accessible to those with user rights to access our servers. We used PICtor to catalog our initial conversion from analog slides to digital images in 2008. A portion of our collection most commonly utilized for lectures were cataloged, exported from PICtor, and statically hosted by ARTstor. Prior to our static hosting on ARTstor, we did not have a searchable online access point for the Lafayette community. To continue the digital conversion, we signed onto ARTstor’s content management system, Shared Shelf. Much of our template for our Lafayette College Art Department: Visual Resources Image Collection was developed before I arrived at Lafayette College, we just needed to make a few adjustments to how some of our fields would map and display to the user in ARTstor then go live.
  • PICtor screenshots.
  • Along with the implementation of Shared Shelf, I made a few small additional changes to our workflow. For the faculty, I created an image request form and implemented a 2 week turnaround for requested images to be digitized, cataloged, and accessible. This form also aided my student assistants in keeping track of their progress when digitizing.Administrative cataloging is still done in PICtor. Requesting faculty members are noted, requests are assigned order and source numbers and images are assigned accession numbers. Order, source, and accession numbers are sequential and recorded on the Image Request Form as well as in PICtor.
  • Following digitization, images are ready to be uploaded to Shared Shelf. For our Lafayette College Art Department: Visual Resources Image Collection Project on Shared Shelf, I decided to utilize the “sets” feature as a way to list our orders. Images are placed in their corresponding order set. I decided to use the “sets” for this function because I have quite a backlog of digital images needing to be cataloged. These images are stored on the server in order folders. As I make my way through the backlog, uploading orders to Shared Shelf, I slightly alter the folder name to reflect that this order has been uploaded and cataloged in Shared Shelf.
  • We upload the highest resolution TIFFs to Shared Shelf because our long term goal is to keep archival versions only on Shared Shelf, relieving some of the server storage pressures that commonly occur. Currently we keep archival masters on our server and in Shared Shelf for several key reasons. We are currently not able to batch download our images from Shared Shelf and would like this functionality before making the move to storing archival masters only on Shared Shelf. I would also like to complete cataloging of our backlog before deleting the duplicate archival masters on our server.
  • Once the images are uploaded to their corresponding order set, I can now catalog them. My typical approach is to catalog an entire order all at once as I believe this improves consistency between work records, especially in the subject field. Plus, this makes copy cataloging between work records easier, by copying the data from one record to another when there is a lot of overlap between field data. Once an entire is order is cataloged, I then publish the images to our project on ARTstor. If it happens to be a particularly large order of images, I will often publicize the new images on the Art Department’s Facebook page and the library’s webpage. The biggest improvement to the workflow is, now with Shared Shelf, we can make digital images accessible and searchable to any Lafayette users with an internet connection within our timeline.
  • Shared Shelf screenshots.
  • Shared Shelf screenshots.
  • I’m pretty happy with the workflow we have developed, but there are things I would like to change if we lived in an perfect world. Ideally our administrative and descriptive metadata would all be captured within one system that could be accessed and updated regardless of whether working on a Mac or PC. Since PICtor is an Access-based system and we use both PCs and Macs in the Visual Resources Center, this often interrupts the workflow. Moving to a system that is not dependent on an operating systems would eliminate this issue and also allow me to have the necessary access across campus, as I often work in the library and elsewhere.My department in the library, Digital Scholarship Services (DSS) is currently migrating to a Fedora Repository with Islandora as a software framework. When completed, the library’s digital projects will be managed and accessible through Drupal-based interfaces. The Visual Resources Collection is not currently slated for migration to Fedora/Islandora, but this is one possibility for an all-in-one relational system for administrative and descriptive cataloging that my colleagues and I have discussed. Another option is transforming our installment of Shared Shelf to handle both forms of metadata. Of course with both of these options, there would be much discussion regarding how to migrate the data in PICtor to the new system. In light of this migration to Fedora/Islandora and my position in the library, I am also considering where the workflow I have discussed here fits into the larger college workflow. Digital Scholarship Services has its own workflows for its numerous projects and I can see real benefits to exploring where workflows can be merged.This leads to a discussion of accessing the Visual Resources Collection. As I mentioned, it is currently accessed through ARTstor, while the other digital image collections developed by the library are locally hosted. Each collection has its own users, but there are definitely instances where it would be beneficial for users to “discover” new images by being able to search across projects.
  • To close, I wanted to talk a little about another project for which we are using Shared Shelf with a slightly different workflow. We are currently digitizing and cataloging the archive of Lafayette College’s Experimental Printmaking Institute or EPI. Since it’s founding in the mid 90s, the EPI has invited prominent artists to visit the EPI studio and create works in collaboration with Lafayette students. Some of the visiting artists include: Faith Ringgold, Mel Edwards, Sam Gilliam, David Driskell, Elizabeth Catlett, and William T. Williams. This project represents a partnership between the EPI, the library, and the Art Collection at Lafayette College, but like a true partnership, each party has needs to be met.To celebrate its 20th year anniversary, the EPI will be producing a catalog raisonné that will use the images and metadata to produce the captions; the library will be contributing the digital images to ARTstor’s digital library; and the Art Collections will be gifted the original works at the conclusion of this project.Image Credit: Faith Ringgold, , Lauren Vassallo '11 and Sarah Strang '11 at Ringgold's New Jersey studio presenting The EPi produced print ,Oprah, We Love You (2010).Photo by Roy Groething.
  • Example of Shared Shelf field versus GalleryPro field.We decided to kill two birds with one stone as best we could by cataloging the works for both the ARTstor collection and the Art Collection. The main problem though is that the Art Collection uses Artsystems’ GalleryPro to manage its collection, utilizing a unique and different metadata schema and standard from our chosen, VRA Core.We explored using Shared Shelf or GalleryPro to catalog the works, but each system came with unique challenges. In order to use GalleryPro, we would need to purchase additional seats so that multiple people would be able to access the data. Shared Shelf does not have this issue, but because our cataloging schemas differed so much, it was proving difficult to design a cataloging template that would allow for efficient cataloging. Our solution was to develop a bare bones and relational FilemakerPro database with a work table, a creator table, and an image table that would export data sets to meet both metadata schemas. The college already had seats for FilemakerPro so we would not need to purchase additional software and it would work on both Macs and PCs. The overall workflow for the EPI project is:The works are accessioned and cataloged by a contract employee working with the EPI into the FilemakerPro database. The Art Collection’s accession numbers are written onto the back of the works;The works are digitized and image records are created and linked to the work records; andThe cataloger’s work is reviewed and fixed when needed. Once cataloging is completed, we will export the two different data sets to export into GalleryPro and Shared Shelf.Even though we are contributing the images and data to ARTstor, we will be importing the high res TIFFs and data into Shared Shelf to offer the EPI a collection management system, which it currently does not have nor a consolidated record of the works in their collection. They will be able to add new records, update records, and access the high res TIFFs.
  • FilemakerPro screenshots.
  • Imported EPI record into Shared Shelf screen shot.
  • VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Smith

    1. 1. Back to Basics – Cataloging Workflows and Solutions Kelly Smith, Visual Resources Librarian – Lafayette College Annual Conference of Visual Resources Association, Milwaukee, WI (March 13, 2014)
    3. 3. NEW(ISH) WORKFLOW Shared Shelf
    5. 5. Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930)| Printer: Curlee Raven Holton (American, born 1951)| Printmaking Studio: Experimental Printmaking Institute (American, founded 1996) [[SSN 500063866][SSN 9000096355][SSN 9000090660]] Ringgold, Faith Shared Shelf: GalleryPro:
    6. 6. THANK YOU! Kelly Smith Visual Resources Librarian Lafayette College