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Archives & Special Collections

CONTENTdm Cookbook: Description

4. Description

This is a mandatory field. Every record must include a description.

sample of elements that show on each field page
Repeatable

Yes, if a qualifier is used.

Create a separate field mapped to Description.abstract or Description.tableOfContents if such information is applicable
Field Name Description
DC Mapping Description
Search Yes
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Vocabulary No
Definition An account of the content of the resource [providing background and specifics about it, comparable to what would appear on an exhibit label].
Usage

Enter a free-text account of the intellectual content of the resource and any specialized information not included in other elements.

Consider the audience, and the terminology they would likely use. Use the full form of words, at least the first time they are referenced, rather than abbreviations such as St. for Street, ca. for circa, Ky. for Kentucky, etc.

Consider including:

  1. People depicted in the image or discussed in the audio, in the common usage (if different from the authority) form of their name; transcriptions of signs in the image; any history of objects or people in the resource; speculation about dates, events, or people related to the resource; points of interest; addresses of buildings depicted, etc.
    1. The trees on the back of the stage suggest this may have been a Christmas concert.
    2. The community was also known as Clifton Heights.
    3. Male School is visible on the hill.
    4. Sign in image reads: “Second Annual American Folk Song Festival.”
  2. Recto information note (any data on front of image or page). Note that “caption” implies something printed at the time of creation, while “handwritten,” etc. imply something added later.
    1. Caption on/accompanying image: ___.
    2. Handwritten on image: ___.
    3. Photographer’s reference number: ___.
    4. Imprinted on image: ___.
    5. Embossed on mount: ___.
    6. Handwritten on mount/border: ___.
  3. Verso information note (any data on back of image or page):
    1. Postmarked November 1, 1902 from Louisville, Ky.; one-cent stamp [for postcard].
    2. Handwritten on verso: ___.
    3. Stamped on verso: ___.
    4. Addressed to: ___ [ for postcard].
  4. Accompanying material note:
    1. Note attached to image: ___.
  5. Additional information note (“Note from UARC records: _____.”)
  6. Source of title or caption note (“Title supplied by cataloger”; “Caption taken from University of Louisville Photographic Archives records.”)
See Also note (“See article on collection website for more information.”)
Examples

Simple bridge over a river with the top of a waterfall below the bridge. The river is lined with trees that hang over the water. Three figures are visible on the bridge. White Mills is on the Nolin River. Published by Hatfield Bros. & Owsley. Publisher's number 62893.

Blanche Preston Jones, descendant of Lady Elizabeth Calvert, plays Appalachian dulcimer alongside young boy and young girl in bonnet, who plays concertina. This performance takes place next to log cabin [probably the Traipsin' Woman Cabin near the Mayo Trail, Boyd County, Kentucky]. Their period dress indicates that they are participants in the annual American Folk Song Festival.
Template No
Nickname descri

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