Wednesday, March 25, 2009

University of Washington

The University of Washington's library has several online collections, including one of historic photographs of Seattle, called the Seattle Collection. While they did not address how they chose a collection or even how they chose what parts of a collection they digitized, the University of Washington did a relatively good job of explaining the characteristics of the collection. They explained that the collection was digitized in 2000 by the cataloging staff. They provided the type of scanner (Microtek Scanmaker 9600L) and the file format they used (jpeg). They also said they manipulated some images in order to provide the clearest digital representation possible. The fact that all the photos in a collection was included with the collection, but the reasons for choosing these particular photographs over others in the collection was unclear.
Clicking on an image brings it up a new window with a larger version of the picture along with extensive metadata. Fields include: title, photographer, date, notes, subjects (including Library of Congress Subject Headings), location depicted, digital collection, order number, ordering information, negative number, repository, repository collection, object type, physical description, and digital reproduction information. The metadata field are consistent and full of information that would help a researcher. Many fields, such as the subject field, are also links to other items with that metadata entry. Searching the online collections is relatively easy, and users can choose to search through all the collections or to limit their search to one particular collection.

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