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The Urban Archives

Draft May 2, 2005

Project liaisons: Tom Dobrowolsky, Irina Gendelman

Metadata liaison: Kathleen Forsythe

Field name

DC mapping

Authority File



Title: Searchable, public; required

This is the name of the item (photo, sound clip, media clip, etc.). It does not have to be unique; for example, 3 images of Smith Tower can all be named Smith Tower.


Date: Searchable, hidden


The date and time, in machine-phillic form

Format: YYYY-MM-DDThh:mmTZD


Date: Non-searchable, public


The date that the item was observed in the landscape: the photograph taken, the sound/video recorded, or the scanned artifact collected. If the item is a scan of an artifact (a poster, for example) then this field should reflect the date that the artifact was collected rather than scanned.

Use: [numeric day] Month [year]


29 February 2005

February 2005


Date: Non-searchable, public


The time the item was observed in the landscape.

Use 24 hour format.

Example: 14:51


Description: Searchable, public

A free text field for describing, in some level of detail, the item. This may be needed to clarify something that isn’t visually clear, for example, or to provide additional context. This is meant to supply a rich description of the subject in the item without getting carried away. A limit of 251 words should be sufficient.


Coverage: Searchable, public



The street address upon, in front of, or near which the item of interest is located. If the exact address is unknown, or if the subject spans numerous addresses, record as accurately as possible. Do not abbreviate unless abbreviations are the standard.

Please record in the format appropriate to locale. Thus, for Seattle:

4211 University Way NE

4211-4299 University Way NE

4200 block, University Way NE

For rural roadways, include mile marker and direction of travel:

Milepost 251, Interstate 90, Eastbound

State Route 520

Sometimes, it may be more appropriate or useful to list cross streets rather than the address. Alternatively, if address is unknown, listing the cross-streets may be the sole manner to establish location. Do not abbreviate (except for directional). Follow these conventions:

North-South street first (“longitude”), followed by E-W street (“latitude”). Use common sense for diagonals — addresses may give you a hint.

Roosevelt Way NE and NE 50th Street

Roosevelt Way NE, north of NE 50th Street

If, as in the case of a photograph, one street is emphasized over another, you can violated the longitude/latitude rule (but try to use an address if possible).

NE 50th Street near Roosevelt Way NE

NE 50th Street, east of Roosevelt Way NE

View Orientation

Description: Searchable, public


For still images.

The view direction from camera’s point of view. This field helps the viewer figure out which direction the camera is looking if it is not clear from the context of the photograph. This will be especially useful in wide-out shots (i.e. street scenes) years down the line when the buildings in the photograph are long gone.

Enter the compass point direction:




Coverage: Searchable, public


Use Country – State – City hierarchy.


Coverage: Searchable, public


GPS coordinates in decimal degree format – carried to four places to the right of the decimal. Areas west of the Prime Meridian (i.e. North America) should be indicated with a negative sign.



Coverage: Searchable, public


GPS coordinates in decimal degree format – carried to four places to the right of the decimal. A positive value indicates north of the Equator (i.e. North America).



Subject: Searchable, public

Seattle City Clerk’s thesaurus and Seattle City Clerk’s Neighborhood Atlas used by City of Seattle Archives

General subjects or themes of the item. Assign no more than 5.  See Thesaurus for terms.  Multiple terms are separated by <br>

For the City of Seattle, the neighborhood name should be the first Subjects term. Use the Seattle City Clerk’s Neighborhood Map Atlas (

Example: following the clickable maps down to the most detailed (, the corner of Broadway and John would be assigned the term

Capitol Hill — Broadway


Type: Searchable, public

Various; see comments.

A description(s) of the agent(s) of communication that is depicted. This field takes into account non-print forms of communication, as well as print.  Possibly use for print:

For non-textual forms, use AAT; Activities Facet; Events Heirarchy to describe events occurring at a particular location or functions (AAT; Activities Facet; Functions Heirarchy) depicted at the location.

Multiple terms are separated by <br>


Subject: Searchable, public

AAT Materials Facet

List the substance(s) and material(s) used to create the mark(s) or item(s) depicted.  Multiple terms are separated by <br>

Examples: ink, paint


Subject: Searchable, public

AAT Activities Facet

The technique(s) used to create and/or affix a mark(s) onto a surface.

Multiple terms are separated by <br>

Examples: stencil, free-hand


Subject: Searchable, public

Local authority

The base(s), or infrastructural physical substrate(s), on which a mark is affixed. This field is broader than Architectural Detail (below) and encompasses forms beyond the architectural.

Examples: wall, dumpster,sidewalk,alley

Multiple terms are separated by <br>

Architectural Detail

Description: Searchable, public

AAT Objects Facet

Names the specific part of building being viewed, if applicable. This is useful in order to precisely describe where on a building the photographed item is located (i.e. graffiti painted on the alley side of a building; flyer posted on the front window)


Façade; Alley Elevation; Entrance; Garden; Door; Nave pier


Creator: Searchable, public


Creator: for still images.

Creator of this visual image; the name of person or corporate entity who photographed this item.

Use: last name, first name


Creator: Searchable, public


Creator: for moving images or sound.

Creator of this sound/video clip.

Use: last name, first name


Creator: Searchable, public


Creator: for scanned items (representations of scanned artifacts).

The person who collected the artifact represented in this scanned image – NOT the person who scanned it.

Format: last name, first name


Creator: Searchable, public


This field should be used only if the entry in the Photographer/Producer/Collector field does not represent the original creator of the item. The Source is the name of the photographer or firm, artist, or architect associated with the creation of the original artifact.

Examples: the author of a poster that was scanned, the architect of the building in a photograph,

Format: last name, first name or check LC name authority file for corporate names.

Copyright holder

Rights: Searchable, public; required

If not us, and if different than Source, list the individual or body that retains copyright to the visual image.

Digital Collection

Relation-Is Part Of

the Urban Archives

Item Number

Identifier: Searchable, public

Local authority

A unique alphanumeric identification string for the item. The

Item Number should be the same as the filename we store media locally (on our own computers/servers) as our ‘masters’.

The Item number should be constructed as follows:


YYYY = year

MM = month (include a 0 in front if month is a single digit)

DD = day (include a 0 in front if day is a single digit)

abc = photographer’s initials: first, middle, last

(or first, last if you don’t have a middle initial)

XXXX = unique, sequential id number for the image


None: Non-searchable, hidden

This indicates whether the actual physical artifact or master digital file exists and describes the disposition of the item:

digital = a master digital image/recording is retained off-site

artifact = physical artifact is in possession of project team

disposed = artifact or digital item has been disposed of after scanning


Subject: Searchable, public

Local authority

The top level category, if any, that this item belongs to. For example: Graffiti, Ghost_Signs, Public_Art, Yard_Art.


Relation: Searchable, public

Local authority

If this item is part of a larger series of photographs about a certain topic, list name of the entire series here. Note that not all Series need to be attached to a Collection.



Aurora Bridge



Relation: Searchable, public


If this item is intellectually part of a logical sequence of multiple items (possibly one of a series), list its order here.

This is expressed as X of Y

Historical photo

None: Non-searchable (link), public


If another repository (UW Special Collections, Mohai, City of Seattle, King County) contains a photograph with this same subject or view, add the link here.

For UW Libraries item, state negative number or order number.

Context photo

None: Non-searchable (link), public


If photograph has a corresponding wide-out photograph, add link to that photograph(s).

Use Item Number.

Close-up photo

None: Non-searchable (link), public


If photograph has a corresponding close-up photograph, add link to that photograph(s).

Use Item Number.

Type limit

Type: Searchable, hidden; required

DCMI Types

Describes the nature or genre of the content of the resource. Select a value from the Dublin Core Type Vocabulary at

Used for cross database search limits.  Use <br> between terms.