This week, I’m happy to say that I finished my first internship assignment, cataloging the final 35 images of the set. For these last images, I suggested another keyword to be added to the controlled vocabulary, which was accepted by my site supervisor. When letting her know that I finished the first round of the assignment so that I could get her feedback, I also asked for help in identifying a bear that appeared in the last picture. As a natural history museum, they have several different bears to choose from and I wanted to make sure I used the right one. I had done a quick search on the museum website’s online galleries, but couldn’t find it. And now I know how what their grizzly bear looks like!
The supervisor sent me a list of changes to make – both adding and removing keywords I had assigned to images. The changes were pretty straightforward, but were helpful in understanding what else I should be looking for when cataloging. I was surprised by a couple of the additions she requested, so I ask her for more clarification on this and of other things so that I could get a better understanding for future assignments and her response was helpful. She even thanked me for wanting to know the reasoning behind it!
One great tip I learned from completing this first assignment is that consistency is very important in digital asset management. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer on when to use a specific term to describe something. What matters is that you create a general rule on when to use a term and are consistent about it. In my case, I couldn’t decide when to use a term related to steps, but I got helpful advice from her on how she uses it (when you can see most or all of the steps and/or the bottom of the steps). Creating rules such as these – and documenting the rationale so you don’t forget why – is helpful to maintain a uniform application of metadata.
I received my next assignment – over 450 images! This is triple the size of the first one. It’s of the same event as the first set, so I’m pretty familiar with the appropriate terms now. I’ve cataloged about 100 images so far. I’m happy to say that I still let go of my wish to identify every person in every picture, a lesson from last week. In one picture, I was able to quickly and easily figure out who one person was and let everyone else stay unidentified. My supervisor will let me know during the feedback process who the others are, if she knows, and I can go back to those later. This has helped me be more productive.
Most excitingly, I got the instructions on how to batch edit images! I’ve shown the supervisor that I understand the process and she now trusts me with using this fantastic capability. This will make cataloging a little less time consuming, as I can globally add the broad terms that apply to the images, such as the event. She asked me to be thoughtful about using the feature, and I’m definitely being judicious in my use of it. I’m still looking at all images individually so that I don’t miss anything. Nonetheless, it’s a big time saver and I’m appreciative that she trusts me with it.
Total hours = 11.5