About Iris's site

Images from the American Museum of Natural History's Rare Book Collection showcasing early visualization of nature before photography, rendered in detailed illustrations.

Purpose of my project

In the Library's Digital Special Collections, currently running on Omeka, individual pages from a book are dissociated from its source volume. To clarify where the images came from, the Library added metadata fields about the book itself to help viewers understand that the image they were seeing was part of a whole work.

In this site, I am assembling scanned pages into an Item Set which will serve as the container for the image Items. Metadata for the book itself is recorded in the Item Set metadata, while page metadata for the images describe the page discretely and describes key aspects of digitization, namely, the photographer of the digital image and the date the image was digitized. This test-case is demonstrating how Omeka S can serve up assets and metadata for complex image collections.

Resource template descisions

My resource template contains 13 metadata elements from Dublin Core. I customized some labels to more accurately reflect the content of the data to a user (eg, "Date" changed to "Date digitized"). I also changed "Format" to "Format/Dimensions" though in the end, I did not use this field. Regardless, renaming the field labels even slightly, helped me understand what aspect of the asset I was cataloging.

Controlled vocabulary decisions

For Creator and Subject, I chose Library of Congress NAF and LCSH respectively. Because my images are from books, I wanted to be consistent with controlled headings used in our Library catalog. For Type (genre) and Medium, I chose Getty AAT for a few reasons.

  1. For visual resources, I believe that AAT has more precise terms and better scope notes for usage,
  2. Wanted to broaden the base of my audience to include specialized terms for art and printing processes
  3. The hover definitions for Getty terms are really helpful -- should not be a criteria, but reality check, it takes a lot of time to research how to use a particular term correctly.