Lab: Designing Metadata

Working in teams, students will analyze a series of primary source documents to determine the kinds of metadata needed to create a digital archive.

  • Using Google Sheets, student teams will design metadata fields capable of accessing a variety of document types.
    • Which fields should allow multiple entries and which should be unique. Add an (s) next to field names that can repeat. – Ex. Subject(s)
    • Which fields should you just type data in, and which fields should have their entry controlled (think a drop down selection of terms). Use a different color for controlled fields.
    • Is every field necessary? Which fields must be entered and which should be entered only in some instances? Add an asterisk to the fields that must be entered.
  • Adjust the metadata scheme to accept a different kind of document.
    • Are new fields needed?
    • Do you have to adjust your scheme in other ways?
  • Think about the kinds of searches that this scheme will permit. Can you think of other fields that would help the user to locate a document in a large database?
  • Can you think of other fields that might be useful for the owner of the database in order to manage the materials?
  • Write up findings in a Google Slides presentation. Link the Sheet and the Slides to the task in Basecamp. Teams will present findings to the class.