Photo Collections Metadata
From UA Libraries Digital Services Planning and Documentation
This information is no longer necessary (KM, 10/29/12). We now receive the metadata in spreadsheet form.
- When working with a photo collection that has already been processed by one of Marina’s students, copy the information as is from the info sheets found in that student's binder. Ask Marina for help finding the appropriate binder/info sheets.
- When working with an unprocessed photo collection or some other type of collection, and you are writing metadata
- Never abbreviate, especially states and months
- Do not use periods at the end of fields (except it is okay in ‘Notes’ field, because that information is administrative metadata only, not to be used in the final metadata
- Be consistent with your terminology in descriptions and titles; for instance, if you start using “railroad track” don’t switch over to “train track”
- Don’t be afraid to take a second and look up information online, such as hunting down the county appropriate to a city (especially for Alabama counties; this is less important for large cities out of state) or confirming the spelling of a proper noun (like the name of a well-known person or a place name)
Digital Collection Title
We are currently using the title of the actual physical collection, which can be found on the box you’re working from and its folders. Please use the full name, rather than the abbreviated version we use for our file system. Examples: Josiah and Amelia Gayle Gorgas Family Papers; Jefferson Jackson Coleman photo collection.
Number Hoole has assigned to the album. If there is only one, it is album number one. Album numbers are given consecutively and in the following format: (four-digit year).(three-digit collection number).(three-digit album number). Example: 2008.001.001. Note: The first two sets of numbers will be the same as the first two sets of numbers for the image identifier.
Number Hoole has assigned to the image. Album numbers are given consecutively and in the following format: (four-digit year).(three-digit collection number).(six-digit image number). Example: 2008.004.000098. If numbering photographs yourself, number them in order, padding the number from the left with enough zeroes to fill it out to six digits.
Title of image.
Description of image.
Cities, counties, and states maybe be known for the whole collection, may be given on back of photo, or maybe be inferred because location of photo matches that of another with city/county/state given on back. In general, fill in if known or possible to determine given what you do know. If unknown or impossible to determine, leave blank.
- City: Where photograph was taken. Fill in if known. If not, leave blank.
- County: Where photograph was taken. Fill in if known. If city other type of locatable location (such as a state park) given but no county, look up county online. If no city or other location given, leave blank. Do not abbreviate name or include the word County or Co.
- State: Where photograph was taken. Fill in if known. If city/county/location given and you don’t know what state it’s in, look it up online. Do not abbreviate state names. For example, Alabama, not AL or Ala.
Date or Year
When photograph was taken. Always give in the format Year Month Day. Always give year in four digits (1976, not ’76). Never abbreviate month (January, not Jan.). If specific month or day unknown, simply leave them off. If given a span of years, list them with a hyphen between; example: 1898-1899.
- 1914 March 12.
- 1914 March.
The image’s photographer, or sometimes simply the person who collected and/or donated the collection. Leave blank for Marina to determine later.
The type of processing on the photograph. Leave blank for Marina to determine later.
Whether the photograph is enclosed in a case. Fill in with yes or no. Chances are, if you are doing your own metadata as you process a collection, it will be a collection that does not include case photographs, so the whole column will be filled with none.
Dimensions of the case, if there is one. If there are no case photographs (if your whole Case Present field is filled with none), you may delete this column or simple leave the field blank.
What type of mount is the photograph on, if any. If it is not a mounted photograph, enter none. If photograph is included in an album, enter album. For other types of mounts—carte de visite, cabinet cards, or stereocards (all of which are heavy and stiff, like cardboard—see Marina or one of her photo students to help you determine which.
Whether the photo is color or black and white. Fill in with yes or no.
Whether the photo is positive or negative in polarity. Fill in with positive (for regular photos) or negative (for negatives). If you enter negative, list the type (see Marina or perhaps Jeremiah to determine this).
Dimensions of image. Measure in inches to the 1/16 and give as height x width. Example: 3 3/4 x 7 1/8.
Dimensions of image. Measure in inches to the 1/16 and give as height x width. Example: 3 3/4 x 7 1/8. If there are no mounted photographs in your collection, you may delete this field.
Notes found on the front or back of photo, album, or mount. Transcribe this information that anyone working on the metadata might have access to it.