Metadata assignment Essay

In Step 1 of the Term Project, you will create a draft form of the descriptive metadata for the four
murals assigned to you (see the Step 1 thread for your assigned items).
1. Create an Excel file and save it as INF7910_Term_Project_1_YourLastName.
2. Enter the element label you will use to hold the primary key in row 1 of Column A. The primary
key for this project is recorded for each of your items in the title and identifier fields in Omeka.
3. Enter the element labels for the remaining elements you will use to capture the descriptive
metadata in row 1 across the spreadsheet. Remember: Dublin Core should serve as the
foundation for the elements you use. You may change the element labels to something that is
more meaningful to you. This can be helpful for keeping the meaning of each element clear in
your mind as you develop the metadata entries for the items. You will map the elements you use
to Dublin Core in the Metadata Application Profile to be created in Step 2. Creating a list of the
elements you use with their Dublin Core equivalents as you work through Step 1 would be a
very good idea (hint, hint!). You may find an element or two you use in Step 1 has no direct
Dublin Core element, and that is OK. You will want to make a note of that in your list of Dublin
Core equivalents, too.
4. Include elements to record the materials used to create the items and another element to
record their dimensions. I didn’t have a ruler with me for some photo-capture sessions, but
there are instances where the dimensions will need to be recorded, so be sure to have elements
available to enter this kind of descriptive data.
5. Place the element label you will use to hold the primary key in row 1 of Column A. The primary
key for this project is recorded in the title and identifier fields in Omeka.
6. Bold and center the element labels in row 1.
7. Provide a fill color / shade to the element labels in row 1.
8. Freeze the top row (aka row 1).
9. Insert all borders for the elements and the items.
10. Develop the descriptive entries for each of your four assigned items. You might want to look
around at well-developed digital collections of similar items (posters, billboards, paintings, and
broadsides are likely to be useful). A few that provide high quality descriptive entries are those
hosted by the Library of Congress and the Cleveland Museum of Art. There are a host of others
that do an excellent job, but these two are places to start if you get stuck.
11. Note the controlled vocabularies and lists you use to create your entries. Can you find an
authority-controlled list of artists names that can be used for the muralists / graffiti artists?
What about the terminology you can use in the description of the style, composition, and
category of mural / graffiti? Sometimes indexes of texts that focus on the items being described
can provide a useful list of controlled terms. When you use one it will be tied to entries made in
INF7910 – Metadata Wayne State University
Dr. Joan E. Beaudoin School of Information Sciences
a particular element, and so you will want to document these. This information will be recorded
in the Metadata Application Profile.
12. Research is a requirement of the metadata creation process, no matter what kind of items are
being described. You will need to know something about whatever kind of items you are trying
to provide access to (from screws to manuscripts and everything in between!). The detective
work and learning involved in describing items is what many people find appealing about
metadata creation process. The murals in Detroit have received a fair amount of coverage in the
popular media. You can look for reference resources on murals and graffiti. There are a number
of local, national, and international artists who have contributed their talents to this very public
form of expression in Detroit. You can likely find openly available information about most
artists who painted the murals (I have captured their “name” when present within their work).
Many have Instagram accounts. Another useful place to look is the artists’ info held in an app
called CANVS. You can download it from (There is a brief clip about
the app and its intersection with Detroit’s murals here:
13. Document the resources that you have found useful in researching your items. Create APA
formatted entries for the resources and provide each with a brief snippet of what you found
useful about it. You will likely want to return to these as you move forward with describing
additional items and so indicating why each resource was useful will save you time in the
future. Your reference resources, too, will be included in the Metadata Application Profile due in
Step 2. A resource for APA formatting guidance is available through Perdue’s OWL
/general_format.html). This site provides excellent guidance and highly useful examples for
how to format your references.
14. Title is a challenge for many items. You may be able to track one down. If not, and there are
prominent words on the item, you might use these as the title. Use your best judgement here. If
you are unable to find a title, you can create what is known as an applied title. You will place
any title you develop in brackets. Example: [Sunset over a golden field]. These tend to be
descriptive of the main elements of the item. These are likely a whole lot more useful than
finding untitled used twenty (or twenty thousand!) times in a collection.
15. Satisfaction might not be achieved at this step of the game, but you should at least feel like you
put the time in to perform quality work and have ironed out the basic framework for capturing
the descriptive metadata about the items. You are laying the groundwork here for the project.
The textbook is a highly useful resource for this project. Miller does an excellent job of pointing
out how Dublin Core elements are used and potentially useful vocabularies and lists that are
often tied to each of these.
16. Save