Digitisation Projects: Organising Information
Use a Spreadsheet or Database
Use a spreadsheet or a database to input information/data about your project. These will let you:
- Organise your data so that you can find it
- Sort your data
- Prepare your data for analysis
Fields may need to be repeated to reflect:
Multiple roles e.g.
- Name 1
- Role 1
- Name 2
- Role 2
Multiple events e.g. for a map collection:
- Date Surveyed
- Date Revised or Corrected
- Publication or Printed Date
Non-standardised and standardised form e.g.
- Place of Publication (as appears on item)
- Place of Publication (as appears in an authority listing)
Each element of information or data is called a “field”. E.g. data about a book will comprise a "record" and will include the following fields:
Decide on what fields you want to include per record, thinking about possible future analysis. E.g. if you have place/location information you will need to decide how you may want to sort and analyse this information e.g. by:
Depending on your requirement each of these elements will need its own field.
Organising your information / data at the most granular level will facilitate future analysis.
So, for example, including separate fields for town and country ; or separate fields for birth and death dates (or start date, end date) will mean that each of those fields can be sorted / queried separately.
Please refer to UCD Library's Generic Template and Notes for more information:
UCD Library has a number of other guidelines that may be supplied on request:
- Name Construction Guidelines
- Date Guidelines
- Format Guidelines for Photographic Resources
Consistency is important in describing elements. So, for example, avoid the use of multiple versions of the same geographical name e.g. Rome, Roma; or date e.g. 1st March 1900, March 1st 1900, 01/03/1900, etc.
Consistency will help to ensure that your data can be sorted, analysed, transformed into other formats, etc.
To assist with this use an national / international authority controlled list of terms or standard ; for example:
|Field||Standard / List|
|Personal name (e.g. author)||
Virtual International Authority File - VIAF: http://viaf.org
|Role (e.g. author role)||Library of Congress MARC list of roles:
|Dates||ISO 8601 Date and Time Formats:
|Geographical Location (e.g. City / Town)||
|Subject / Keywords||
Use a general controlled vocabulary listing such as the UNESCO thesaurus: http://vocabularies.unesco.org/browser/thesaurus/en/
Or use a discipline-specific listing; see some examples: