Metadata in Tropy

Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.
Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.

Tropy’s generic metadata template contains the following fields: title, creator, date, type, source, collection, box, folder, identifier, and rights. Recording this information for resources is important for a number of reasons.

Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.
Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.

First and foremost, it increases the findability of a resource. It’s possible that months and years may pass between a user’s initial interaction with a resource and the moment that the user will need to revisit the resource in a more meaningful way. If the metadata for the resource is extensive, the resource will be able to be located through a variety of searches. If the metadata for a resource is bare bones (only consisting of one or two fields), the odds decrease that the user will be able to search for that resource in a way that exactly matches the slim metadata information.

Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.
Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.

Additionally, providing a wealth of context about the resource increases the ability for that resource to be used in a meaningful way. Knowing that 2 documents were grouped in the same box or created on the same date can provide the user with insights that may prove valuable to their research.

Finally, investing time and effort on the front-end of resource management saves time and effort on the back-end, when researchers are already burdened with a host of other priorities. Digging for missing metadata months or years after the initial interaction with a resource can be very difficult and time consuming. It’s easier to record that information the day it becomes available, which is usually the day that the resource is first interacted with.

Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.
Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.

While Tropy’s generic template is a good starting point, Tropy users may benefit from creating a customized template and including the following fields: subject, location created, location shown, and format. (See photos in this post for examples of a customized Tropy metadata template.) The first 3 fields can help increase the discoverability of a resource. The last field provides important administrative metadata. If possible, information should also be provided to users on the digitization and editing process of the resource.

Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.
Tropy screenshot depicting customized template.

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