VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Sipe

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Presented by Vicki Sipe 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
PRESENTERS:
• 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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  • The presenter,Vicki Sipe is the Catalog Librarian at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She cataloged her first photograph in the early 1990s using Elisabeth Betz Parker’s Graphic Materials as the data content standard, contributing the records to OCLC. As Catalog Librarian for UMBC, she has trained staff in everything from serials holdings to descriptive metadata for images. In addition to transitioning cataloging staff to working with images, she has participated in panel discussions, given presentations and provided workshops on image cataloging at ALA Midwinter, CONTENTdm Users Group meetings, Online Audiovisual Catalogers conference, for the Maryland Library Association, ALCTS,and for several online cataloging courses. She is very excited for the opportunity to speak to Visual Resources professionals at VRA 32 and would like to thank Kathe Hicks Albrecht for the Travel Award which helped to make this possible. University of Maryland, Baltimore County is a medium-sized university with a Fall 2013 enrollment of 11,136 undergraduate and 2,772 graduate students. We offer 44 majors at the undergraduate level, 36 master’s degree programs and 24 doctoral degree programs. Our focus is STEM, and our Chess team is rarely second to anyone. You may have seen our President, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, speaking on 60 Minutes (“Education Transforms Lives,” 11/13/2011). The Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery houses 1 million plus books and bound journals, almost 2 million photographs and slides, 800,000 plus microforms and provides remote electronic access to thousands books, journals and databases. We employ 24 faculty librarians and associated staff, 30 non-exempt staff and about 70 student assistants. Our Bibliographic and Metadata Services (BMS) team consists of 3 librarians, 5 library technicians, and 2 student assistants. We are responsible for all original and copy cataloging of library materials, and descriptive metadata support for materials not included in the library ILS. Our work on metadata for digital collections began with the Hughes CompanyGlass Negative collection and has grown to include other projects.
  • The Hughes Company was a commercial photography business active in Baltimore from the late 1870s until the late 1970s. When the business closed, about 3000 8x10 glass negatives, taken from 1905-1940 were donated to UMBC. The information accompanying the images varied from captions on paper sleeves to no information other than the knowledge that they were taken by Hughes Company between 1905-1940. The collection is housed within the Special Collections department of UMBC. The goal of the project was to provide online access to about 2600 of the images. The work included scanning the glass negatives, processing to positives, creating metadata records, and uploading to a digital collection management software platform. The metadata records would be created outside a MARC record environment, the traditional environment for bibliographic work. The Bibliographic and Metadata Services department and Special Collections, both within UMBC’s Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, worked in collaboration on this project. Here you see a sample of our images. They include people, places and things. The link is to the landing page for the live collection.
  • Several characteristics made this project attractive. It involved collaboration with our Special Collections department. The materials were housed there, and the staff there was very familiar with the materials. The collection focuses on historic Baltimore, so there is a very strong local history, public history component. The images are original document resources in this perspective. Negatives by their very nature are uniqueThe collection was large enough for an experiment, but small enough to be within reach of current resources. Current staff were trained, rather than additional staff hired. An 8 x 10 glass negative provides a wealth of detail. Only some of the staff had previously worked with images or metadata beyond a bibliographic record. So the project provided an opportunity to expand the skills of staff. Due to issues of fragility and condition, digitizing the images was one of the few ways to allow public access to the collection.
  • Our collaboration was primarily between Special Collections and BMS, with assists from Web Services and Library Information Technology Services.Here you see a sample of the existing competencies each of our departments brought to the project—among the most important is the willingness to work together. In initial discussions, it seemed a natural division of labor would be for Special Collections to handle and scan the negatives, do the initial loading of records and images into the software, and initial quality control. A team in BMS would then focus on the descriptive work for the images. Other decisions were made about fields for the records, vocabularies to be used, and we will look at these decisions more closely.
  • Here is a portion of the data dictionary provided to Copy Catalogers as a guide for the descriptive metadata work. Guidance is provided on what to enter in the field, and examples are included.
  • We have many photographic collections. A desire to capture the genres of photographs led to creation of a UMBC Photography Genre List, a portion displayed here. Currently 24 terms, additions made as needed, based on discussion.Most are drawn from the Art & Architecture Thesaurus of the Getty Research Institute.
  • In using AAT as the primary vocabulary for our local UMBC Photography Genre List, we’ve chosen from the Activities facet. We’ve also used AAT as the vocabulary for several other fields.
  • Here are a couple of AAT terms used in other fields. Gelatin dry plate negatives appears in our Process field vocabulary. In the case of photographs, we use a general term, either “black-and-white photographs” or “color photographs.” We then add as many terms as appropriate, and as specific as possible from AAT. In the Hughes case we chose default values of “black-and-white photographs,” and “gelatin dry plate negatives.”We’ve also used AAT as the vocabulary for our Work Type field. For this field we are capturing the broadest term at the highest level from AAT. In the Hughes case a default value for all records was chosen—photographs.
  • For the Location field, we use terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings. We use the terms in the indirect form—largest to smallest jurisdiction. When appropriate, we have gone to neighborhood level. If there is no location established in LCNAF, we follow this form to establish a local location.
  • There are two Subject Names fields—Subject Name (LCNAF) and Subject Name (Local). We captured names painted on the windows of office buildings, names on plaques and billboards, and names that were implied. A photograph taken in a gallery at the Baltimore Museum of Art, or a window display at the local FW Woolworth’s local 5 and dime, each would get the name of the respective institution. In this case the F.W. Woolworth Company. All names were searched first in LCNAF. If found here, we used the form found.
  • Names not found in LCNAF were then established in the Local list using AACR2 and NACO practices. Here we captured two names: the Chesapeake Roofing and Pipe Covering Co., and the Baltimore Cooperage Company, which was listed on the negative sleeve.
  • For our primary subject controlled vocabulary, we used TGM. Developed by Library of Congress to augment LCSH for their Prints and Photographs Division. A vocabulary for indexing visual materials by subject, genre/format.
  • Among the information we wanted to capture in our Hughes Collection was the presence of African Americans in the images.Here we have a portrait of Pete Hill, Baseball Hall of Fame member, Manager of the Baltimore Black Sox 1924-1925. In TGM only the term Ethnic groups was available, but the Scope note included a reference to LCSH. In the LC authority files, the term “African Americans” is included. So in this case, we included the more specific LCSH term rather than the broader TGM term.
  • Here is an example of how the Hughes Company used some of these images.
  • VRA 2014 Back to Basics, Sipe

    1. 1. Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Back to Basics: Cataloging Workflows and Solutions Collaboration in Image Cataloging— University of Maryland, Baltimore County Vicki Sipe VRA 32 Milwaukee 13 March 2014
    2. 2. 2 The Project—UMBC Hughes Company Glass Negative collection Broadway Recreation Pier Bridal portrait of Mrs. Mary Johnston and her flower girl Metal melting furnace People, places and things In and around Baltimore 1905-1940 http://cdm16629.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/hughes All images this slide: Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    3. 3. 3 Why choose Hughes Collection as our metadata project? •Collaboration with Special Collections •Local history, public history original “document” resources •Unique materials—negatives •Limited scope and size of collection •High quality of 8 x 10 glass negatives •Working with images expands staff skills •Glass negatives NOT available to public Glass negatives are fragile. Thanks to Susan Graham for this image.
    4. 4. 4 Special Collections processing of negatives and scans Negatives can be difficult to “read.” Processing to a positive reveals Baltimore’s Washington Monument. Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Thanks to Susan Graham for this image.
    5. 5. 5 Existing Competencies—Benefits of Collaboration Special Collections and Bibliographic & Metadata Services Special Collections Familiarity with the materials Expertise in handling fragile materials Equipment for scanning Expertise in scanning Much more… and willingness to work together Bibliographic & Metadata Services Expertise in working with description Expertise in working with images Experience with creating workflows Expertise with controlled vocabularies Much more… and willingness to work together Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    6. 6. 6 Skills and tools used in… traditional cataloging: subject analysis attention to detail controlled vocabularies application of standards metadata creation: subject analysis attention to detail controlled vocabularies application of standards Catalogers only work in the catalog Cataloging qualifies you for metadata creation
    7. 7. 7 Special Collections and Bibliographic & Metadata Services Scan Process scan to positive Populate fields with default values Transcribe captions Save work to CONTENTdm server Special Collections houses the glass negative collection Now available to BMS Thanks to Susan Graham for this image. Thanks to Susan Graham for this image.
    8. 8. 8 What BMS adds Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    9. 9. 9 Portion of Data dictionary as used by Copy Catalogers Local Element Name DC Mapping Vocab/ Encoding Scheme Comments/Instructions Examples Title Title Text Create brief specific descriptive title, enclosed in square brackets. Include descriptive phrase, then place if known. If image of a named thing (bridge, river, etc.) or person, begin with name of the thing or person, descriptive phrase, then place if know. Follow capitalization rules of AACR2. If title appears on piece, transcribe without square brackets, change Title Note. See Title Note below. [Hecht’s Department store display window, Baltimore, Maryland] [B&O railroad coal dock, Baltimore, Maryland] Location Coverage LCSH The geographic location where the image was made beginning with country first to as specific a level as is known. Country—State---City. If not known, provide “United States.” Supply one location. United States—Maryland—Baltimore United States [if no location is known, provide this value] Subject Names (LCNAF) Subject LCNAF Person or corporate body as subject of the image. Names entered in form found in LCNAF record. If name not in LCNAF, see Subject Names (Local). Supply as many as appropriate. Separate by semicolon [space]. Broening, William Frederick, 1870- 1953 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company Subject (TGM) Subject TGM Terms describing objects or persons appearing in the image. Use terms at level of specificity of the image. If image of house, use Houses. Do not use Windows, even though the house has windows. Supply as many as appropriate. Separate by semicolon [space]. Railroad cars Cargo ships Crowds Soldiers
    10. 10. 10 Controlled vocabularies—UMBC Photography Genre List
    11. 11. 11 Controlled vocabularies---Art & Architecture Thesaurus UMBC Photography Genre List chosen primarily from Activities facet in AAT
    12. 12. 12 Controlled vocabularies---Art & Architecture Thesaurus Used in our Process field Used in our Work Type field
    13. 13. 13 Controlled vocabularies—Location list Locations appearing in images, captions Based on geographic names in LCSH Local names created as needed Indirect entry form of name Portion of list
    14. 14. 14 Controlled vocabularies—Library of Congress Name Authority File Names appearing in images, in caption information LCNAF headings when available Local names created as needed, form based on NACO practice Personal names Corporate names School supply display at F.W. Woolworth Co. store Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    15. 15. 15 Controlled vocabularies—Local Names list Names appearing in images, in caption information LCNAF headings when available Local names created as needed, form based on NACO practice Personal names Corporate names Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    16. 16. 16 Primary subject thesaurus Controlled vocabularies—Thesaurus for Graphic Materials
    17. 17. 17 Controlled vocabularies—Thesaurus for Graphic Materials Special relationship between TGM and LCSH Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    18. 18. 18 Training for image work Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    19. 19. 19 Study the image, several minutes First impression—what does it show? List everything you see in the image Based on your observations, write a short, descriptive title Visual literacy—Reading an image exercise Wells and McComas Monument, Baltimore Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    20. 20. 20 Describing everything in the image Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    21. 21. 21 Meeting expectations of users Level of specificity of the item Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    22. 22. 22 Create groups—cite similarities between members Differentiate between members of each group Visual Literacy Training—Portraits Exercise All images this slide: Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    23. 23. 23 Group by similarities—men, women, both Differentiate between members of each group Visual Literacy Training—Portraits Exercise All images this slide: Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    24. 24. 24 Group by similarities—individual portraits, group portraits Differentiate between members of each group Visual Literacy Training—Portraits Exercise All images this slide: Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    25. 25. 25 Encouraging analysis Terminal Warehouse at Guilford and Pleasant Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    26. 26. 26 Baltimore Cooperage—browsing the collection All images this slide: Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    27. 27. 27 Baltimore Cooperage—checking the City Directory Polk’s Baltimore City Directory, 1923
    28. 28. 28 Building enthusiasm—the “I found it” moment Original image Water tank at Pleasant and Guilford, Baltimore Google Street view at Pleasant and Guilford Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    29. 29. 29 Hughes collection—uses of the images Loch Raven Dam and reservoir Postcard, Magazine Service, Inc. 1920s Hughes company sold the image to a postcard company. Hughes Company Glass Negatives The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    30. 30. 30 From Sleeve: Street car Towson #8 on York Road at Regester Avenue. Envelope marked Chas. H. Steffey, Development at Anneslie. 1922-07-11 United States – Maryland -- Anneslie Street railroad stations; Street railroads; Automobiles; Street car on York Road Caption Location Subject Names Steffey, Charles H.; Subject (TGM) Hughes collection—uses of the images The descriptive access we provided to the image.
    31. 31. 31 Public History class project http://hughesco.blogspot.com Patron used the image to illustrate a decline in streetcar ridership at time of suburban expansion Hughes collection—uses of the images
    32. 32. Thank you for your time Vicki Sipe Catalog Librarian Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery University of Maryland, Baltimore County sipe@umbc.edu

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