Implementing Shareable Metadata Practices in a Diverse University Environment
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Implementing Shareable Metadata Practices in a Diverse University Environment

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Riley, Jenn. "Implementing Shareable Metadata Practices in a Diverse University Environment" Society for American Archivists Annual Meeting, August 31, 2007, Chicago, IL

Riley, Jenn. "Implementing Shareable Metadata Practices in a Diverse University Environment" Society for American Archivists Annual Meeting, August 31, 2007, Chicago, IL

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  • Collection-level records only (UIUC has shown these are useful, but mostly to supplement item-level description) <br /> Aggregators that understand multi-level description (appropriate groupings in search results; hasn’t happened) <br /> Design multi-level description carefully for future item/file-level view (can be part of Greene’s reengineering process described 10 years ago; Prom’s multiple records approach that hasn’t been widely picked up) <br /> Link to digital object from the lowest level of description in finding aid, and use external system to provide more granular description (if you’ve got it, why not put it in EAD, though?) <br /> Describe at the item level (likely the collections that will be digitized are the same that would receive item-level processing per Greene/Meissner) <br />
  • EAD files linking to digital objects: Mostly item-level description, but some with multiple links from file-level descriptions. Digitization process has forced re-engineering of individual finding aids too <br />

Implementing Shareable Metadata Practices in a Diverse University Environment Implementing Shareable Metadata Practices in a Diverse University Environment Presentation Transcript

  • Implementing Shareable Metadata Practices in a Diverse University Environment Jenn Riley Metadata Librarian Indiana University Digital Library Program
  • An vision for shareable metadata     Many robust discovery environments that can easily exchange diverse metadata Workflows at Universities that easily bring together metadata for resources from libraries, archives, etc. Large-scale, multi-institution aggregations that do the same …and online delivery of content too, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves 8/31/07 SAA 2007 2
  • Challenges for archives    “Archives” not a homogeneous body so a single workflow likely not possible Expanding view of mission Finding the resources   Appropriate description Technical implementation 8/31/07 SAA 2007 3 View slide
  • Challenges for digital libraries  Digital library practice assumes content digitized   Metadata-only workflows not common Digital library practice assumes item-level description   In University DL departments In metadata aggregations 8/31/07 SAA 2007 4 View slide
  • The core descriptive challenge   EAD is not a metadata format. EAD is a markup language.     It marks up the finding aid as a document A finding aid is a narrative, not just an inventory The structure of finding aids can vary among diverse collections Let’s assume we have EAD-encoded finding aids for all collections we want to share 8/31/07 SAA 2007 5
  • The good news    Aggregations not intended to replace archives-focused discovery mechanisms, but rather to supplement them General-purpose aggregations therefore do not need to make use of all the nuances of archival description Your local environment can provide the robust services you want   Interpretation of resources Mediation of access 8/31/07 SAA 2007 6
  • Key shareable metadata principles for archives  Context    Need enough so that the user of an aggregation can make a decision about whether or not to follow a link to the local environment Too much repeated information can pose challenges for the aggregation and the user Content  What is the appropriate granularity for shared records from archives? 8/31/07 SAA 2007 7
  • Some possible strategies      Collection-level records only Aggregators that understand multi-level description Design multi-level description carefully for future item/file-level view Link to digital object from the lowest level of description in finding aid, and use external system to provide more granular description Describe at the item level 8/31/07 SAA 2007 8
  • Implications for EAD workflow   Because EAD encoding practice can differ so widely, decisions about flattening the structure best made locally rather than by an aggregator Adding additional uses for EAD files makes it all the more important that they’re done well 8/31/07 SAA 2007 9
  • Experiences at IU (1)  New EAD site <http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/findingaids/>     New system more faithful to encoding, with less “helpful” fixed presentation Mutual learning process about archival descriptive practices Many decisions made about when encoding should be changed and when system should be changed Results of this process: re-engineering! New template, report card, better previewing capability 8/31/07 SAA 2007 10
  • Experiences at IU (2)     Some EAD files link to digital objects (more soon). Soon, item-level OAI records (DC and MODS) for digitized items from finding aids Central DL repository that allows EAD as the master metadata format Workflow that allows links from any level of a multi-level description in EAD 8/31/07 SAA 2007 11
  • What archives in Universities can do         Build archival-specific aggregators Implement OAI data providers Talk to DL people about multi-level description Put more materials online Put EAD site in your institution’s federated search Share finding aids with services such as ArchiveGrid Lobby software vendors for better support of EAD Implement EAC and other means of sharing authorities 8/31/07 SAA 2007 12
  • Learning from one another    Item-centric view can be too narrow, but can help the re-engineering process More structure in finding aids can be a good thing Archives can show libraries why expertise in descriptive practice is still necessary 8/31/07 SAA 2007 13
  • Thank you!   Jenn Riley, jenlrile@indiana.edu These presentation slides: <http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/~jenlrile/presentations/saa2007/>  Metadata For You & Me: A Training Program for Shareable Metadata <http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/mym/> 8/31/07 SAA 2007 14