Saturday, December 6, 2008


I am happy to report that each person who participated in Face of Brooklyn information supplied on the survey form has been carefully typed in, matched to their photo, and now sent to Julie May the Photography Librarian at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Nancy and Helena, who have been both working as assistants,interns, and Excel mavens were instrumental in the un-ending work of carefully decoding curious handwriting,email addresses, searching for missing zipcodes, and catching my mistakes.

Julie May will translate the fields we created in excel for things like "Occupation", "How long you have lived in Brooklyn", "Age" so that each portrait file will be encoded with this information, photographers, archivist, and librarian's call this metadata.

Julie will also have to make some modifications to certain terms that people used on their forms, particularly in the free-form comment box. The Library of Congress has created a keyword thesaurus for metadata, to ensure consistency for researchers, and "Vocabulary control, identification of preferred terms, standardized spelling." You can read a bit about it here.

She will also add some more fields to include author(myself), year, location, and notes about the specifics of the Face of Brooklyn.

During the meeting I had with Julie May and Kate Fermoile last week, we discussed how the portraits collect during Face of Brooklyn would be treated and integrated into the larger collection at BHS. Thinking about the 280 (ish) portraits I took for this project filtering into the BHS collection was very exciting. The portraits will both exist as a distinct collection, "Nora Hertings' Face of Brooklyn" and seamlessly join the rest of BHS's collection. This way someone who comes to BHS to research "Coney Island", will also come across all of the portraits I made August 31st, 2008 at Coney Island. If someone is doing research about students and submits "students" into the database, the portraits of those who listed their occupation on my form as "student" will also be returned appear among the search hits.

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