There are three Collections and Research Support Assistants (Imaging and Visual Resources) working hard behind the scenes – Anna, Anne and Suzanne. Our role is:
- to assist in the delivery of CHICC
- to assist in the day-to-day management and development of the Library’s image and visual resource collections
- to help improve access to the Library’s image and visual resource collections
To put it more simply, half our time is spent administering the imaging service and the other half is spent cataloguing the digitised material in LUNA, who host our online image collections.
The delivery of the imaging service involves corresponding with customers; advising customers on the best digital format for their needs; retrieving, checking and assessing items for photography; liaising with the photographers and conservators, and maintaining records and statistics of all our work.
The majority of material we digitise is in response to orders from external customers with a small amount done internally as a response to the teaching demands from our own University departments. Once an item has been digitised we also make the images freely available online in our image collections (as well as supplying customers with a set of their own images).
The metadata sheet we use when cataloguing the digital images is compliant with VRA 3.0 metadata standards, UK-LOM Core and Dublin Core compliant and also mapped to the Getty Crosswalk. We also use Library of Congress Subject Headings and the Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names for authority control, although we use English spellings. The metadata sheet has a mixture of fixed vocabularies (for example the subject headings field) and free text fields (for example the description field) and so far it has served us well in cataloguing our collections. Generally the metadata of each image includes all significant details about the item, plus image capture and storage information and we feel it is a very comprehensive information resource.
Our work might not be as glamorous as photography or conservation but it is just as important: we try to provide an efficient, friendly service to all our customers – any feedback is gratefully received!