Life Story: Creating Metadata for the Portrait File

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Vol: 44, Issue: 1

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Waldron, Zoe
New York Public Library; Digital Collections; Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art Prints and Photographs; Images; Clippings; Metadata Creation; Data Enhancement; Data Quality; Archival Processing; Portraits; Biographical Images; Discovery; Metadata Best Practices; Metadata Standards; Metadata Practice; Digitization.; digitization, digital curation, data standards, cataloging, metadata, workflow, subject indexing, databases, digital asset management systems, assessment; Arts and Humanities
article description
The Print Collection Portrait File encompasses 71,557 portrait and biographical images of notable figures in American, British, and European history from ancient times to early 20th century, and is the largest digital image collection at the New York Public Library. The metadata creation practice for the Portrait File evolved in its approach over its long digitization history that spanned more than ten years, many metadata creators, one database migration, and the formation in 2013 of NYPL’s Metadata Services Unit, which oversees metadata creation across the institution. This article demonstrates that metadata creation is an ongoing process, and explores enhancements that might be made to the metadata for Portrait File items in the future.