Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brigham Young University Campus Photographs

The Campus Photographs Collection at Brigham Young University consists of photos from their main campus, their Idaho campus and their Hawaii campus. The photographs are of "student life, athletic competition, campus buildings, portraits of individuals, aerial shots of the various campuses, and other views of life on a university campus."
The about section is very brief saying that the collection contains historically significant photographs. It does not explain if they consider their entire collection historically significant or if they have only placed the photographs they believe are historically significant online. They also neglected to explain who was deciding what was historically significant.
The collection can be searched and browsed by campus or in its entirety. The search results pull up a list that includes the thumbnail, title, subject and description of each image. By clicking on an item, the user is redirected to a page with a larger image and very thorough metadata. There are 29 different metadata fields for each image, including call number, holding institution, original date and digital date, as well as historic time frame and genre.
The images are all jpgs created from scanning in the originals. Each item contains information about the medium of the original as well as the size of the digital file and a link to the full resolution image. Each image is complete with notes of provenance and rights information.
Because of the extensive metadata provided with each image, the site seems to be geared towards users with a research interest in the university and its history, but it could just as easily be used by someone with a passing interest.

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