Metadata for each format in the scope of this digitization project (microfilm, serials, photographs) developed in a slightly different manner. Below I will describe the overall metadata plan for each format and highlight a few challenges along the way.
The original grant proposed one metadata record for each of the 383 reels of microfilm. Early on in the project, we decided to move towards description at the microdex level. Each reel of microfilm contains over a thousand frames and covers many topics divided into microdexes. To provide more robust description, ease in browsing, and aid in discovery we decided to describe at the microdex level.
Special Collections at Smith was in the process of implementing ArchivesSpace at the time of the project’s beginning. By the time digitization of the photographs was complete and description was beginning, ArchivesSpace was implemented and metadata was created within ArchivesSpace. Description of the 40 boxes of photographs was created at the file level according to DACS. All description was completed in the archival object, collection, or series level. The digital object record contains serves to point the user to the digital object. For import into Compass, the 5C digital library, metadata will be extracted from the archival record.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, serials were described bibliographically for this project. This aligns with Special Collections’ goals going forward. Working with colleagues in Discovery and Access, bibliographic records and holdings records were created for each of the 15 digitized titles. Each bibliographic record will contain a link to the finding aid and a link to the title in Compass. The finding aid will remain as is for now noting the location of each title but the description will be maintained in the bibliographic system of record.