Cataloging and Documentation - The EVIA Digital Archive Project

Cataloging and Documentation

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Fieldnotes of a depositing scholar juxtaposed with a laptop running the EVIA Project's Annotator's Workbench software, used for annotating video collections. Image © Alan Burdette.

The EVIA Digital Archive Project has endeavored from its inception to improve scholars' ability to document video recordings and to enable library-based searching of the content. With key input from librarians, we have incorporated standard MARC record cataloging and controlled vocabularies into our implementation. A great deal of our software development has focused on creating ways for scholars to segment and annotate video collections. By integrating library standards into our metadata, we provide a very high quality search experience, enabling users to effectively locate resources from many different angles and play back desired sections. We ensure that the organization of our data is compatible with a host of other institutions and that it will be part of long-term strategies for metadata schema design and interoperability.

Archives depend on the objects accessioned in a collection to inform one another. For example, audio recordings inform photographs, and hand-written fieldnotes inform video. Descriptions and indexes made by the scholar who created a given recording often are the most important pieces of information for archivists and users. These notes not only inform users about what they are examining, but they help users locate pertinent information as well. Accordingly, one of the primary goals of the EVIA Project has been the creation of tools that facilitate documentation of video recordings. By offering tools that enable scholars to describe and discuss video in a form that is sustainable within contexts of archives and libraries, we hope to entice greater documentation efforts by scholars.

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