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Cataloging the Universe of Visual Materials: XML Extras!

August 11th, 2014 by Kate Bowers

I’m privileged to be leading a segment of “Cataloging the Universe of Visual Materials,” a pre-conference workshop that is part of the Society of American Archivists annual meeting.  I’m joining a team of truly impressive experts:

  • Robert Burton, Photograph Cataloger, Harvard University
  • James Eason, Archivist for Pictorial Collections, University of California, Berkeley
  • Mary Alice Harper, Head, Photography & Art Cataloging, Harry Ransom Center
  • Miriam Meislik, Media Curator, University of Pittsburgh

We have been ruthlessly herded brilliantly marshaled by Cathy Martyniak, Audio Visual and Image Archivist, University of Florida and Wendy Pflug, Associate Curator and Assistant Professor, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, The Ohio State University.

While my segment is eye-crossing / sleep-inducing the truly exciting stuff full of angle brackets and field numbers, I’m really looking forward to my colleagues’ contributions on photographs as information artifacts and aesthetic objects, on recognizing photographic and other image formats and processes, and on the challenges of deciding how to record and convey the value of visual resources to users.

As a treat for the XML geeks out there, even if you aren’t attending the workshop, I’ve put together some XML extras.  I’ve taken a finding aid for a collection of Harvard University News Office photographs that date from World War II and the demobilization era, and marked the collection-level stuff up in MODS and VRA Core.  I’ll be adding Dublin Core and MARCXML and improving the MODS and VRA markup when I get back from SAA.

In my segment on metadata standards, systems, and input, I’ll be touching on the fact that the varous communities of practice (libraries, archives, museums, and visual resources specialists) have established their own content and encoding standards.  What’s really hit me during this exercise, though, is how the various communities have different preferences and values and even entirely different pieces of information.  I hope to provide some reflection on that later.

In the mean time… get yourself and XML editor, download some files, and play!

Link to XML extras:


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