Title:Cataloging Images for Digital Collections
Authors:Jeffrey Sowder
Publication:MW98: Museums and the Web 1998

The implementation of the campus wide Internet WWW-based network, Columbianet, in 1995 sparked the idea of providing image access to Columbia students in the foundation courses. A web menu- interface was planned to provide access to cataloging information about digital images which would be provided over the network. Before this interface could be created, a large number of images were needed to study the organization and access method to be employed to assist students in obtaining the works they wanted to view online and to provide accurate information about the images themselves. This presentation will take you through the process which brought these digital images to the desktops of all Columbia students and affiliates with network access from their residence halls, dorms, apartments and Columbianet terminals within the libraries. Mostly we will concern ourselves with metadata--the contextual information about the image which must be present to access, identify, and supplement the visual content. How the metadata was constructed and organized to function as an index to the collections, including many of the problems encountered in cataloging image surrogates of works of art, will be examined.