Photography Media Journal
ISSN 1918-8153

Blog|Journal | Gallery|Contact|Site map|About 

Print version (full-text)

Metadata for Image Resources

by: Tomasz Neugebauer

July 2005

page: 6 of 10

previous page| next page

Metadata Studies

Vercoustre & Paradis’ report on the use of Dublin Core as the metadata standard for an image CD-ROM application brings up some interesting observations (Vercoustre & Paradis 1999, 44). The publisher element is defined as “an entity responsible for making the resource available”[15], which in the case of the multimedia application is “the Association who supports the creation of the CD ROM” (Vercoustre & Paradis 1999, 44). However, the implication here is that if the image is ever to be reused by another application then this metadata element would have to be changed. The type element needed to be refined with an additional qualifier of quality in order to provide the application with the ability to select among ‘equivalent photos to display’ (Vercoustre & Paradis 1999, 44) Interestingly, the authors chose to add quality as a sub-element even though this “certainly [did] not conform to DC requirement for qualifier, but there was no appropriate place to add this information, using Dublin Core.” (Vercoustre & Paradis 1999, 44)

Zeng’s case study of USMARC, VRA Core and DC in a museum fashion collection suggests that USMARC notes (e.g., 500 general note, 508 creation/reproduction credit, 520 summary/abstract/annotation, 535 duplicate note, 541 acquisition, 561 provenance, 585 exhibition, and more) offer the highest level of differentiation among the many different kinds of notes that are necessary in capturing descriptive information such as item history, owner and person related to the item, significance of patters and colors, style history, exhibition records and conservation information, construction, design and composition (Zeng 1999, 1200). Another advantage of USMARC includes additional entries (6XX and 7XX) for persons and corporate bodies related to the item, providing additional access points for browsing, whereas VRA Core and DC lack this feature (Zeng 1999, 1200). VRA Core was found to differentiate well among some notes with elements such as: related work, relationship type, measurements, techniques, material, repository name and place, while leaving the rest (e.g., exhibition notes) to a generic ‘notes’ element, which does have an impact on searching capability for large collections (Zeng 1999, 1200) and interoperability. However, VRA Core offers superior detail to DC and USMARC in differentiating subject access elements with the introduction of additional elements such as nationality/culture, style/period/group/movement (Zeng 1999, 1202). Whereas DC was the quickest solution, offering minimal cataloguing time, USMARC required the most skill and time (Zeng 1999, 1205) In general, a slightly modified VRA Core was found to be the most suitable for the fashion image collection (Zeng 1999, 1205).

Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access Data Element Set (SEPIADES) is a complete element set for description of photographic objects with a structure describing all aspects of the photographic resource and a “hierarchical structure in which the resources were categorized by the archive” (Kramer & Sesink 2003, 136). This type of hierarchical structure which “gives the users searching a repository the possibility to browse through an archives collections or search for collections rather than just one image” (Kramer & Sesink 2003, 136) seems like a similar structure to the EAD DTD. The SEPIADES hierarchy consists of: institute, acquisition, collection, grouping, visual image (what can be seen on the photograph) and physical image (instances of the image such as negative or print) (Kramer & Sesink 2003, 136). There is a similarity between the separation of work and image in VRA Core and SEPIADES distinction between visual and physical image.

in this section: