Post #5: Metadata Assignment


  • The title is quite obvious — the postcard has a title in the upper right hand corner, which made the item’s title easy to determine.
  • This item is an image of one of the many factories around North Adams which employed many of the city’s residents and were the reason for its then-successful economy.
  •  I think the titles for most things will be pretty straight forward, but if it’s an individual item, we should make sure the that origin of the item (the larger category it belongs to for the purposes of our exbihit) is noted, so it’s easy to categorize them.
  • I don’t think quotation marks are necessary, but Mina and I can discuss that for the sake of consistency.


  • I think we should formulate the subject sections by noting the item/subject of the item, with the name of the city following it.


  • With the descriptions, I think it’s best to keep it short and sweet to better organize the items. It provides information about the basic content of the piece, but allows the real significance of the piece to be illustrated through its placement in the exhibit and the context provided there.


  • Thankfully, the postcard was postmarked, and provided the exact date and time it was sent through the mail. While this doesn’t necessarily provide the date of its creation or the creation of the print on the card, it gives a good ballpark.
  • As long as we can get within the right decade or half decade and it’s certain the the piece fits within our time period, I think some generalization is acceptable in case we’re unsure of an item’s exact date.
  • What if you can’t find out the date of an item? What do you do?
  • As far as the date format goes, I think January 1, 2016 (for example) should be fine for our purposes.


  • The North Adams Historical Society owns this item.


  • What if you don’t know who made the item?I don’t think creator is necessarily a crucial part of the metadata for the purposes of our exhibit — if the information is there, then that’s wonderful, but if not, the context is still intact. If multiple people (or a non-person, like a company) created the item and that information is available, I think it’s good practice to include it.


  • It’s likely that the image of Hunter Machine Works was created within a few years (at most) before the postcard was printed, sold, and sent, so it’s solidly within our time range. If we don’t have an idea of when it was created or when it was used, then unless we can somehow discern that the item fits within the time range, it probably shouldn’t be included in the exhibit.


  • The postcard title and all other writing on it is in English. The format to denote this would be “eng-us”.


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