[Metadatalibrarians] Working with historians and archivists on descriptive metadata

Erica FINDLEY ericaf at multcolib.org
Wed Aug 9 11:16:08 PDT 2017

Good morning,

I manage our library's digital collections <https://gallery.multcolib.org/>.
My expertise is around digitization and metadata practice. I am not a
historian or an archivist. In past workplaces, I have worked side by side
with an archivist or historian to write metadata for these types of
collections. In the position that I am in now, these knowledge holders work
in other departments.

We are digitizing collection where including historical context in the
metadata will be important. I am anticipating that this will require
identifying people and events taking place in the photograph as well as
applying an expert knowledge to determine the significance of what is
pictured. This has been hard for me to think about how to do because I nor
the cataloging staff who write the metadata have no or very little
historical knowledge related to this collection.

However, there may be other people on our staff that do have knowledge that
they could contribute.

I am curious how you may have approached this in your institutions
especially if you work in a large public or academic system where the
knowledge holders do not work in the same department with you. I am
interested in what this collaboration may look like once you have
identified the knowledge holders. How do you consult with them without
draining their time away from their regular duties? What types of
assistance or resources do you ask for them to provide? How do you quantify
for them the time that might be required to do this work?

Thank you in advance,


*Erica Findley*
*Cataloging | Metadata Librarian*
Multnomah County Library
Isom Building
My schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Phone: 503.988.5466
multcolib.org <http://www.multcolib.org/>

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