804 annotated bibliography


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804 annotated bibliography

  1. 1. The Organization of Costume Collections<br />Kathryn Patrick<br />Overview of Sources (in the order presented):<br />Applicable Metadata Sources<br />CCO overview and description (2007)<br />CCO for the beginner<br />Using CCO for object cataloging in libraries and special collections (2007)<br />Using CCO in a mixed format collection<br />Visual Resources Association website (2009)<br />VRA Core and CCO, and the VRA Bulletin for members<br />Dublin Core Metadata Initiative website (2010)<br /><ul><li>Dublin Core resources and information</li></ul>Culture byte by byte (2008)<br />A brief history of VRA and the theory of describing art objects<br />The world is not flat, and neither is our metadata (2007)<br />Architectural metadata issues, highly applicable to costume collections<br />Digitization of Costume Collections<br />Metadata elements for object description and representation (1999)<br />A detailed study of metadata in use to describe costume collections<br />Classification structure for the Drexel Historic Costume Collection (1999)<br />Case study for planning a digitization project<br />The Henry Ford Historic Costume Collection (2007)<br />An example of a digitized collection<br />Best Practices for Costume Collections<br />Best practices of textile and clothing museum website development (2009)<br />A survey of web practices<br />Featuring clothing and textile collections online (2008)<br /><ul><li>An analysis of the use of images on clothing collection websites.</li></ul>Preservation of stage costumes (2007)<br /><ul><li>Best practices for storing costume collections</li></ul>Applicable Metadata Sources:<br />Harpring, P. (2007). CCO overview and description. Visual Resources Association Bulletin, 34(1), 34-44.<br />Patricia Harpring is the managing editor of the Getty Vocabulary Program, which manages the three Getty vocabularies, and has recently published a textbook on controlled vocabularies. Just as the title indicates, this is an easy-to follow explanation of CCO (Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images): what it is, the core elements covered, and how to use it. The intent is merely to describe, however, rather than to evaluate, or to suggest when CCO should or should not be used. For critical analysis of the rules, or discussion of their advantages and drawbacks, one will have to look elsewhere. In its descriptive capacity, however, the article is excellent. It is easy to understand, and manages to be concise without sacrificing content. This is a great first step to understanding CCO, especially for those who are less familiar with cataloging standards.<br />______________________________________<br />O’Keefe, E. (2007). The best of both worlds: Using CCO for object cataloging in libraries and special collections. Visual Resources Association Bulletin, 34(1), 86-96.<br />Elizabeth O’Keefe is the Director of Collection Information Systems at the Morgan Library & Museum, and has done extensive work with applying library data standards to objects and manuscripts, and, as this article shows, applying object data standards to libraries. In this article, she explains how CCO can be applied to a system with both traditional library materials and objects. She maps out in detail how to apply CCO to standard materials, making this source excellent for costume collections which also include printed fashion sources, or for costume collections which are one part of an otherwise more traditional archive. Again, the article is more descriptive than evaluative, but it does include some brief comparison to other data systems, and an argument for CCO. This was published in the same issue of the VRA bulletin as the previous source, and is useful especially as an addendum to that. This is a great resource for mixed collections, and interesting information for anyone else.<br />______________________________________<br />McKenna, A. A. (Ed.). (2006-2009). Visual Resources Association - The international association of image media professionals. Retrieved from http://www.vraweb.org/<br />The Visual Resources Association (VRA) has been working to further research and education in the field of cultural objects since 1970. Their website provides numerous resources for VRA Core and CCO, as well as VRA publications, conference proceedings, and more. The high volume of information can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if one is a newcomer to the subject. The content itself is also tailored for professionals, rather than beginners, but it is not needlessly obscure. The VRA Bulletin, one of the site’s prime resources, is only accessible by members. However, the site is easy to navigate, and except for the Bulletin, the content is freely available. Membership is reasonably priced, and for access to the Bulletin and the VRA list-serv, I’m sure the cost would be well worth it to a professional in this field. Even restricted to the free content, this is an excellent source of information on VRA Core and CCO. <br />______________________________________<br />DCMI (1995-2010). Dublin Core Metadata Initiative: Making it easier to find information. Retrieved from http://www.dublincore.org/<br />The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), founded in 1995, created and manages the Dublin Core—a basic set of metadata created to be easy to use and understand, and easy to apply to various media, including objects such as costumes. Their website provides a host of training resources and information for both the beginner and more experienced professional. Though not as extensive as VRA, Dublin Core is a viable alternative, especially for small collections, or for collections that are mostly in formats other than art objects. Dublin Core can also be used in conjunction with CCO. All of the resources on this website are free to use, and the site’s keyword search and site map make it easy to navigate. If VRA doesn’t quite work for a certain collection, this is the place to go to learn about the main alternative.<br />______________________________________<br />Fox, R. (2008). Culture byte by byte. OCLC Systems & Services, 24(4), 192-198.<br />Robert Fox works in the Digital Access and Information Architecture Department and the University Libraries of Notre Dame. In this article, he briefly describes the origins of the movement to provide cultural information and surrogates online, as well as the history of VRA. Even more importantly and interestingly, he discusses the description of art objects from a theoretical standpoint—the notion that the describer has an impact on the description, and its implications. He also discusses the need for consistency, but the need to balance that consistency with flexibility. Fox is a systems analyst, and that shines through occasionally in his use of technological jargon, but he keeps it to a minimum, and the otherwise colloquial style keeps the article easy-to-read. This is an interesting piece on VRA and the nature of art description in general.<br />______________________________________<br />Whiteside, A. (2007). The world is not flat, and neither is our metadata. Visual Resources Association Bulletin, 34(1), 155-170.<br />In this article, Ann Whiteside, head librarian at MIT’s Rotch architectural library, discusses the use of CCO with built architectural objects (i.e. buildings). While costumes are not built, they are made, and can present many of the same problems—when to include parts in a single surrogate or in separate ones, should models or renderings be included as part of the main object, or treated as objects of their own, and so forth. The article discusses these difficulties, and provides (architectural, but understandable) examples. While specifically written for architectural librarians and archivists, it never strays into technical jargon. It does, perhaps unfortunately, pose more questions than it answers. Between these factors, it is mostly useful as an article to make you think about how to construct surrogates, rather than telling you how. The questions it poses are excellent, however, making it an excellent read for someone working on creating surrogates for costume collections.<br />Digitization of Costume Collections:<br />Zeng, M. L. (1999). Metadata elements for object description and representation: A case report from a digitized historical fashion collection project. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 50(13), 1193-208. Retrieved from: http://www.slis.kent.edu/~mzeng/OCLCreport/cover.html<br />Marcia Zeng, Professor at Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science, conducts in this paper a review of the then-available metadata treatments, examining their usefulness and their difficulties in dealing with describing costumes. She compares and analyses the process of describing fourty-two fashion objects using AACR, Dublin Core, and the VRA Core. Her conclusion is to use a modified VRA format to catalog the full collection. Had this been written ten years later, many things would have been different—CCO would be available, and all three of the description formats she examined would have been different editions. However, as none of these formats have changed too drastically, this evaluation of their use in cataloging costume collections is still useful. Furthermore, none of the difficulties inherent in the process which she discusses have changed. Her list of fashion collection websites is also still a valuable resource. A slightly technical, but very useful, study in the digitization of costume collections.<br />______________________________________<br />Goodrum, A. A. & Martin, K. (1999). Bringing fashion out of the closet: Classification structure for the Drexel Historic Costume Collection. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 25(6). Retrieved from: http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Aug-99/goodrum_martin.html<br />A case study in the digitization of a costume collection, from the decision to digitize to the digitization process. Goodrum and Martin are assistant professors at Drexel University, in the College of Information Science and Technology and the College of Design Arts, respectively. In this article, they report the process of their analysis of needs and resources in a simple 9-point list, elaborating on the identification of users’ needs and the definition of access points based on those needs. Finally, they discuss a selection of resources for defining terms and identifying fabrics and designers, and the difficulties still present in those areas. Goodrum and Martin decided on modifying VRA Core to create their access points, and their discussion of their surrogate is both interesting and useful. The main weakness of the article is its length—which is not nearly long enough to really “get into” all of the meat of the process. However, for a quick and easy read, it is an excellent introduction to the planning process of digitizing a costume collection.<br />I also recommend viewing the presentation version of the article at:<br />http://allisonk.dragonandrose.net/classwork/Drexel_Costumes.pdf<br />and visiting the digitized collection at: <br />http://digimuse.cis.drexel.edu/ and <br />______________________________________<br />Wayne State University. The Henry Ford Historic Costume Collection. Retrieved from http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/i/image/image-idx?page=index;c=hfhcc;g=costumegroupic<br />This Digitized collection includes records from Wayne State University, The Henry Ford clothing collection, Detroit Historical Museums, and Meadowbrook Hall. For the 404 records, there are over two thousand images and other pieces of media, including photos not only of multiple angles of the pieces, but also detailed close-ups of key features. Each record also includes a detailed text description, background information, subject headings, and contact info for more information on that specific piece. The collection is searchable by 7 different access points, and also browse-able. The actual web design is less than stunning, and no information is provided about who carried out the digitization process, when it was done, or other background information. However, the surrogates themselves are excellent—complete, useful, easy to understand, and easy to find. For a costume collection that is considering digitization, this is a good example, inspiration, and model for an online collection.<br />Best Practices for Costume Collections:<br />Stewart, T. S. (2009). Best practices of textile and clothing museum website development (Master’s thesis, Iowa State University, 2009). Retrieved from ProQuest database.<br />A master’s student in Textiles and Clothing, Takada Stewart examines a wide variety of the issues surrounding the web presence of museum clothing and textile collections. She focuses on the internet as a marketing and educational tool available to costume collections, and provides a thorough account of how it is being used. This thesis is useful for professionals who wish to make their collection available online, or for those with an online presence which needs improvement. It does focus more on current (as of 20009) practices rather than best practices, but the implications are generally clear. Also, Stewart is clearly in favor of a strong web presence, and offers up the benefits with very short attention paid to the costs; however, I feel that her case holds up well enough in light of the internet’s ubiquitous place in today’s society. This is an area currently undergoing a lot of change, but this look at the field as of 2009 can help a professional get their bearing, prioritize the various aspects of the project, and understand the numerous decisions and challenges that lay before them. <br />______________________________________<br />Saiki, Diana & Robbins, Audrey (2008). Featuring clothing and textile collections online. Aslib Proceedings. 60(2), 99-110.<br />Saiki and Robbins are faculty for the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences for Ball State University. In this research study, they analyzed the use of images on clothing and textile collection websites, documenting the display features, ability to enlarge an image, the use of mannequins, and the context in which the item was photographed. As with the previous study, what is being done is not necessarily what should be done, but the authors also provide suggestions as to what content to include in such a website in light of their research. Also, the data in this study is from 2006; the constant advancement in internet and computer speeds and in the quality and availability of digital cameras means that capabilities have changed since this study. Of course, the time that professionals can devote to photographing their collections and building their websites remains limited. For a costume collection that is considering or re-considering their website, however, this research will help make decisions about the amount and type of media to include.<br />______________________________________<br />Guibert, N. & Sanjuan, A. (2007). Preservation of stage costumes: The National Library of France stacks. International Preservation News, (43), 4-7 and I-IV.<br />Guibert is the Director of the Department for Performing Arts of the National Library of France (BnF), and Sanjuan is in charge of the costumes and objects of that department. This article describes the preservation methods—mostly the storage practices—of the BnF’s extensive stage costume collection. While the best practices for storage does not directly relate to organization, it is vital to keep preservation in mind when organizing a physical collection. Also, several of the photographs in the supplement show the organization used by the BnF. The article is written more for a general than professional audience, but includes enough information to be of use. This article presents useful information, and provides ample inspiration, for the proper storage and physical organization of a costume collection.<br />