Session 10

Moving Beyond Capture: The IT Perspective, Roy Tennant, California Digital Library

Tennant’s talk focused primarily on three subjects: metadata, platforms and databases.

Metadata – defined here as structured information about an object or collection of objects – is of paramount importance. No matter what access system you use, having the right metadata is essential. The services that you want to offer will define the metadata that you must capture. Capturing metadata at the correct level of granularity is the key.

Platforms are comprised of data, application software, operating systems and hardware. System administrators or service providers tend to be responsible for overseeing the application software, operating systems and hardware, so it is of crucial importance that managers of digital projects maintain strong communication links with their system administrators.

Managers are often responsible, however, for choosing application or database software. There are many database software packages available, (ex: CONTENTdm, MySQL, SWISH-E) so the key questions that must be asked are: what do you already have? Which platform are you on? Which product will your IT staff be willing to support? Are there search features that you must have? And, of course, questions of cost.