Weekly response to reading #3 – Valerie Ramshur

Setting the Stage, by Anne J. Gilliand.

The phrase “data about data” is  vague – and has become an umbrella phrase for what is clearly a very in-depth way of organizing, categorizing and accessing information on “stuff” or “objects”.  I was unclear myself on the what Metadata actually meant before reading this weeks papers. Now I feel so overwhelmed with what is can be and what is should be.   I need to step back.

What surprised me about this weeks reading was the amount of variety and range of activities involved in metadata. Metadata being more that mere description of “objects”. The collection of all types of Metadata and their functions (see table 2 on page 7) was particular helpful. Putting a visual guide in place allows me to reference and grasp the distinct categories involved.

Additionally the ‘little known facts” also was quite useful and a clear way to wrap my head around this topic. I hadn’t thought before on all the various ways creating Meta data would be used across so many fields and in so many different institutions. With our increase use of the digital and online accessibility this data and cross communication through Metadata will prove to be the key to our understanding of “our cultural history” indeed.

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About Valerie R.

Head of Costume Design, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Freelance Professional Costume Designer, and Archivist.

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