Metadata in Archival and Cultural Heritage Settings: A Review of the Literature

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Louisville]On: 19 December 2014, At: 20:06Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Click for updates</p><p>Journal of Library MetadataPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:</p><p>Metadata in Archival and CulturalHeritage Settings: A Review of theLiteratureJulia Skinneraa Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies,Tallahassee, Florida, USAPublished online: 09 Apr 2014.</p><p>To cite this article: Julia Skinner (2014) Metadata in Archival and Cultural Heritage Settings: A Reviewof the Literature, Journal of Library Metadata, 14:1, 52-68, DOI: 10.1080/19386389.2014.891892</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever orhowsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arisingout of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp;Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p>;domain=pdf&amp;date_stamp=2014-04-09</p></li><li><p>Journal of Library Metadata, 14:5268, 2014Published with license by Taylor &amp; FrancisISSN: 1938-6389 print / 1937-5034 onlineDOI: 10.1080/19386389.2014.891892</p><p>Metadata in Archival and Cultural HeritageSettings: A Review of the Literature</p><p>JULIA SKINNERFlorida State University School of Library and Information Studies, Tallahassee, Florida, USA</p><p>This article provides an overview of the literature related to meta-data in the context of archives and museums. This article hasseveral goals: to outline current practices, theories, and models; todiscuss existing metadata schemas; and to identify theoretical mod-els that apply to metadata schema design in this context. The articlealso explores best practices and identifies gaps in the literature; itoffers suggestions for future research on metadata in archives andcultural heritage institutions.</p><p>KEYWORDS archival metadata, archives, cultural heritage,literature review, museums</p><p>Cultural heritage institutions are the stewards of a dizzying array of digitaland tangible artifacts. Effectively describing these items and sharing thosedescriptions across institutions are two major challenges these organiza-tions face. One role of metadata standards is to increase the interoper-ability of metadata created at individual institutions, which fosters sharingof records. This article explores how those standards are guided by theo-ries and methods and describes the current state of metadata standards incultural heritage institutions. While there are a variety of cultural heritageinstitutions that could be included, this article focuses only on archives andmuseums.1</p><p>A variety of metadata standards and practices can be found in culturalheritage spaces, offering a wealth of diverse literature from a variety of view-points, as well as the opportunity for exciting future study. Elings and Waibel(2007) divided the description of metadata into five key concepts: data fieldsand structure (elements or categories waiting to be filled by the specific</p><p> Julia SkinnerAddress correspondence to Julia Skinner, Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University</p><p>School of Library and Information Studies, 600 W. College Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA.E-mail:</p><p>52</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f L</p><p>ouis</p><p>ville</p><p>] at</p><p> 20:</p><p>07 1</p><p>9 D</p><p>ecem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>Metadata in Archival and Cultural Heritage Settings 53</p><p>information related to a work); data content and values (the information thatfills those elements and categories, which is guided by standards that tellthe content creator what terms to use); data format (deals with the encodingof the information); eXtensible Markup Language (XML; is most common incultural heritage settings); and data exchange (the protocol used to share acollection of multiple records). Based upon their work, this article focuseson these five key concepts within Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Cat-egories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA), and Cataloging CulturalObjects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works (CCO). The article also dis-cusses other standards in the literature, the role of theory and method inmetadata research, and future research directions.</p><p>STANDARDS USED IN CULTURAL HERITAGE ENVIRONMENTS</p><p>The Development of Cultural Heritage Standards</p><p>The tools that can be related to each of these four concepts vary across dif-ferent types of institutions. Archives, unlike libraries, have historically reliedupon locally created finding aids that were not shared across institutions andthat described materials that did not exist anywhere else. Archival profes-sionals created their own content standard, Archives, Personal Papers, andManuscripts (APPM), to account for their unique needs. Later, EAD was de-veloped as networked computing became more common. EAD came to bepreferred over other standards, like APPM and Anglo-American CatalogingRules (AACR), both of which are tied to the machine-readable cataloging(MARC) format (Elings &amp; Waibel, 2007).</p><p>The history of metadata in museums also evolved as technologychanged. The CDWA was the first attempt at a data structure specificallycreated for art objects, and it is still used in art museums. However, theneed for smaller element sets that could be shared across systems causedthe museum community to consider other alternatives. These included CCO,which provided guidance for how to structure elements and encouraged theuse of common data values from controlled vocabularies. CDWA Lite wasalso introduced and included fewer categories than its predecessor while stillrelying on the widely adopted CDWA framework. CDWA Lite was promotedto facilitate easier sharing between institutions (Elings &amp; Waibel, 2007). Avariety of other standards have been used as well, as described later in thisarticle.</p><p>Encoded Archival Description (EAD)</p><p>EAD was developed by the archival community and consists of a set of dataelements selected by archival professionals to create digital representationsof finding aids, which provide an overview of an archival collection within a</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f L</p><p>ouis</p><p>ville</p><p>] at</p><p> 20:</p><p>07 1</p><p>9 D</p><p>ecem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>54 J. Skinner</p><p>single document (McCrory &amp; Russell, 2005; Smith, 2008; White, 2002).2 Thetechnology underlying EAD is standard generalized markup language andXML. EAD is the main international standard for encoding such documentsin XML (McCrory &amp; Russell, 2005). Although EAD has risen to prominence,Yakel and Kims 2005 study found that diffusion was slow, with only 42% oftheir survey respondents utilizing it in descriptive programs at that time.3</p><p>EAD was mainly developed to move the finding aid model into anonline environment. Much of the work has focused on implementation anduser behavior (Wisser &amp; Dean, 2013), although articles on other aspects ofEAD have been published as well. Early work on the subject (Meissner, 1997)encouraged repositories to use the implementation of EAD as an opportunityto reengineer their finding aids, instead of simply dragging and droppingexisting finding aids into a system without thoughtful analysis. Early articleson EAD (Bouche, 1997; Dow, 1997; Hensen, 1997; Kiesling, 1997; Lacy &amp;Mitchell, 1997; Morris, 1997; Pitti, 1997) found it promising, even when theauthors tackled previously unanswered questions or located issues associatedwith implementation. More recent articles (e.g., Prom, 2001; Wisser &amp; Dean,2013) found EAD to be continuously useful in the archival setting, althoughall encouraged ongoing evaluation and retooling as needed.</p><p>EAD does not dictate how to fill data elements, meaning that institu-tions can draw from a variety of data structures (e.g., Dublin Core, CDWA)depending on their needs (White, 2002). The structure of EAD is hierarchi-cal, with subelements nested within higher-order elements (Thurman, 2005).Cornish (2004) argued that using native XML technology would make it eas-ier to migrate records in the future and overall it has more benefits whencompared to other approaches (e.g., TextML).</p><p>Roel (2005) described collaborative work using the Open Archives Initia-tive Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). It works with any metadataexpressed by XML, including EAD, and allows contributors with minimalmetadata-encoding practices to participate in the metadata collaborative(Roel, 2005, p. 23). According to White (2002), some suggest the need for amuseum-specific standard, instead of museums adapting EAD to their collec-tions, but she argued that EAD seems to offer an enduring, stable mechanismfor content placementeven as complementary or more advanced schemasdevelop (p. 19), and EAD is one that was developed within the culturalheritage community.</p><p>Another advantage to EAD is its cost-effectiveness. DeRidder (2011) ar-gued that leveraging existing EAD finding aids provides libraries with shrink-ing budgets a low-cost solution for providing content to users. Using this ap-proach, archives could use these finding aids for search and retrieval, ratherthan using additional resources to create item-level descriptions. DeRidder,Axley Presnell, and Walker (2012) included a cost and usability analysis, andthey developed a system for linking digitized items into EAD finding aids,which increased access and decreased costs.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f L</p><p>ouis</p><p>ville</p><p>] at</p><p> 20:</p><p>07 1</p><p>9 D</p><p>ecem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>Metadata in Archival and Cultural Heritage Settings 55</p><p>Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Worksand Their Images (CCO) and Categories for the Descriptionof Works of Art (CDWA)</p><p>Very little has been published on CDWA and CCO, although the few piecesthat exist tend to emphasize the description of elements and frameworksover examples of the standards being used in organizations. The exceptionto this is Lanzi (2004), who relied upon real-world examples and emphasizedthe involvement of user communities in the development of CCO. CCO wascreated primarily to describe visual art and architecture but is applicable toa variety of other works as well (Coburn, Lanzi, OKeefe, Stein, &amp; Whiteside,2010). CCO takes a broad approach to defining visual art and includesin its focus area such diverse forms as sculpture, manuscripts, and pho-tographs. The other works CCO might be applied to include archaeologicalsites, artifacts, and functional objects (Coburn et al., 2010).</p><p>Only Coburn et al. (2010) have written on CDWA as well as CCO, leavinga great deal of room for future work. Although little has been published onit in scholarly journals, CCO did receive some positive reviews upon release.Burnett (2008) argued that it is structured around flexible elements, andemphasizes cataloging practice without attempting to enforce a single rigidframework or limit the contexts within which such practices take place(Burnett, 2008, p. 327).</p><p>In one of Coburn et al.s (2010) projects, they described how CDWALite and Museumdat (a metadata schema) might be combined and how thoseinterplay with CCO. According to them, CDWA is a framework that, like CCO,was designed to document cultural works and images. CDWA Lite is based onthe original CDWA framework, and was created to facilitate access to uniquecultural works in a digital world. CDWA Lite follows recommendations madein CCO, such as encapsulating data in a way that is user-friendly.</p><p>Other Standards</p><p>A variety of other standards have been applied to metadata creation in muse-ums and archives. Some of these are modified versions of earlier standards.For example, Encoded Archival Context (EAC) was created to complementand refine EAD (Thurman, 2005). Thurman (2005) discussed EAD alongsideEAC and described projects that focused on EAD or EAC implementationin order to discuss practical implications. Thurman and Pitti (2004) both ar-gued that EAC provides an option to construct more detailed creator recordsthat offer additional context related to the collection. EAC includes a nestingstructure like EAD.4</p><p>Some researchers have used more broadly applicable metadata stan-dards to describe items in museum and archival collections. Le Boeuf (2012a,2012b) looked at the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f L</p><p>ouis</p><p>ville</p><p>] at</p><p> 20:</p><p>07 1</p><p>9 D</p><p>ecem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>56 J. Skinner</p><p>(FRBR) and the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM) andfound that these models were not sufficient for working with all archival ma-terials, although he did note that some aspects of each fit well with archivaldescription. Carini and Shepherd (2004) detailed the Five College FindingAids Access Project and discussed the relationship between EAD and MARC,highlighting the importance of standardization as a part of adapting to tech-nological change.</p><p>One disadvantage to relying upon existing nonspecialized standards isthat they may not be able to account for all the pertinent metadata thatshould be included in an archival record, as noted in Le Boeuf (2012a,2012b). Another considerable disadvantage is that controlled vocabulary maynot match the search terms being used by researchers. One possible way tomitigate this while also encouraging users to participate in metadata creationwas proposed in Flanagan and Carini (2012). They constructed an opensource software called Metadata Games, which allows users who may nototherwise participate in metadata creation to do so using a gaming interfaceand which can collect metadata on a much larger scale than might otherwisebe possible.</p><p>Zeng (1999) classified museum objects from a historic fashion collect...</p></li></ul>


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