Building Controlled Vocabularies for Metadata Harmonization

I am transfixed with controlled vocabularies both their creation and their function. As such this overview was fascinating to me. Even a controlled vocabulary can become out of control, but the principles discussed here represent sound practice for this endeavor. I have made attempts at developing controlled vocabularies in the past and found this the most difficult task. Often I found myself becoming too specific and not, as a previous classmates blog post noted, maintaining a requisite level of ambiguity. I think this would be most difficult to achieve with digital preservation, particularly mass digitization at large scale.


Posted on March 4, 2015, in Articles, LS566 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good post! You’re exactly correct to acknowledge that CVs can get out of control! That usually happens when they’re too complicated for the mission of the repository. Probably the CV with the most difficult “mission” is LCSH, as it’s used for subject cataloging for the widest conceivable audience possible: All libraries and all of the topics for which they collect. Fortunately, there are professional catalogers trained for this task!

    In our case, we’re indexing in a very specific content: Event [of type] Sport [of type] football. We’ll likely want to build union collections across institutions, so that’s important. But also, who are we serving. Of, of course, the biggest question: who will be indexing images? All these play a role in judging how to build an appropriate football CV .. it’s an art rather than a science!


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