Metadata and Added Value

For this project I thought it would be best to use Dublin Core for several reasons. Firstly, Dublin Core is well known as a metadata standard. Most archivists will be familiar with Dublin Core, which alleviates any need for outside training. The fields are basic enough and easy enough to understand for interns to be taught quickly. Then, on the simplest level, Dublin Core fits well with the metadata needed for this project. The following fields will be recorded:
Title
Creator
Subject
Description
Publisher
Contributor
Date
Type
Format
Identifier
Source
Language
Relation
Coverage
Rights

The most challenging field to fill in will be the description. In order to keep control of how detailed the description is each description will follow certain guidelines. The individual describing each ad will discuss How many people are in the ad, the place or a quick description of the background if there is no clear place in the ad, Any actions taking place in the ad, a note of any words on the ad (this will serve as a transcription), and the main colors used in the image (this might be significant to some). The goal is to be capture the essence of the image without going into extreme detail, as the user will be viewing the image themselves, and administratively only the bare minimum is needed.

As another feature the site will have a web 2.0 feature where users can tag the images for better searchability. This also will make up for any lack in description of intricacies in the initial metadata. For instance, if there is a black and white dog in the right hand corner that researchers find important, but is not covered in detail in the descriptive metadata, may become searchable because of the tag black-and-white-dog. There will be some controls on the tagging. Anything considered obscene or irrelevant will not be included. In lieu of a a tag cloud, which I find bulky and unattractive, I will have a tags link to a page where users can search by tag with the most popular tags in the bottom corner of the main page.

Usability is key to this project, and the goal is to make the site easy to navigate. For that reason there will be many search options arranged in a way that will not be confusing for researchers. Users will be able to search using links across the top of the page. Each link would take the researcher to a page where they could limit their search. Users can search by time period: 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, etc.; by magazine name; by product type: cosmetic/beauty, household supplies, clothing, alcohol/cigarettes, etc.; company/product name. There would also be an advanced search option that would allow them to limit the search by more than one factor. For example, if someone wanted an Ad that was specifically a CocaCola ad from the 1940s from McCalls they would use this option.

Another search option and research tool would be a timeline. This timeline would match thumbnails of ads with events in women's history. The ads would be displayed across the top and the events listed across the bottom. One could click on a thumbnail to see all the ads from that particular year and the corresponding events from that year. Another feature would have to do with the way the ads are presented. Each ad will be viewed in format where on either side there is an arrow to move to the next ad in the collection, depending on how users choose to search. The default will be a general browse option. Whichever ad is being viewed will have a zoom option, as well as an option to look closer at certain details. Each detail will have a pop-up box explaining the importance of said detail. For example, a phonograph in an ad might have an explanation of a phonograph and its cultural significance. This would allow the site to be used by a broad audience. At the lowest level the general public, who might be interested in the colorful ads and the general historical knowledge, those interested in advertising and women's history, and finally researchers working on scholarly works.

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