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Librarian cornered by images or How to index visual resources

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1 Librarian cornered by images or How to index visual resources
IFLA Satellite Post-Conference Beyond libraries – subject metadata in the digital environment and semantic web 17-18 August 2012, Tallinn Librarian cornered by images or How to index visual resources Wanda Klenczon, Paweł Rygiel The National Library of Poland

2 „Images, that have interfered in the human life and human civilizations, still evade all attempts at being classified or standardized. If they constitute a language, it is deprived of the established vocabulary and syntax; if they build a system, it is an extremely mutable system, where nothing is identically repeated”. Mieczysław Porębski, Ikonosfera, Warszawa 1972, s. 9.


4 Descriptive metadata object name, creator,
dating, culture, epoch or art movement, formal aspects of the object medium, technique, material… category or type of document etc. but only subject description really involves transforming visual code into written code.

5 What does it mean “subject of an image”?

6 Cecilia Gallerani, ermine, necklace beauty, purity, aristocracy
Pre-iconographic woman, animal, jewelry Iconographic Cecilia Gallerani, ermine, necklace Iconological beauty, purity, aristocracy

7 Panofsky/Shatford matrix
Pre-iconography (Generics) Iconography (Specifics) Iconology (Abstracts) Who? kind of person or thing (G1) individually named person, group, thing (S1) mythical or fictitious being (A1) What? kind of event, action, condition (G2) individually named event, action (S2) emotion or abstraction (A2) Where? kind of place: geographical, architectural (G3) individually named geographical location (S3) place symbolized (A3) When? cyclical time: season, time of day (G4) linear time: date or period (S4) emotion, abstraction symbolized by time (A4) Source: L. H. Armitage, P. G. B. Enser: Analysis of user need in image archives. “Journal of Information Science”, 1997, 23(4), pp. 287–299.

8 Isness, ofness, aboutness
Isness = what the resource IS often is close to genre/form terms (may be physical or intrinsic, e. g. drawing, albumen print, poster, etc.) Ofness = the elements that a picture consists OF Aboutness = what is conveyed in a document, what it is ABOUT depends on the interpretation of the set themes, motifs, actions and events in a work

9 Man, boys, snakes, Laookon
Source: Wikimedia Commons Picture by de:Benutzer:Fb78. License: {{cc-by-sa-2.0-de}} IS sculpture OF Man, boys, snakes, Laookon ABOUT God’s revenge, punishment of sacrilege, combat, pain, agony IS - sculpture;    -  three men (one aged and two youngs) , two snakes OF - Laocoön, priest of Poseidon; his two sons: (Etron i Melantos, według innej wersji Antifas i Tymbrajos).;     combat, pain, agony ABOUT -  God's revenge; punishment of sacrilege;


11 Seeing Standards: Visualization of the Metadata Universe
Smart and clever visualization, divided into 4 parts, distinguished by their function, purpose, used by various communities for various domains. Including Controlled vocabularies, conceptual models, frameworks, markup languages, record formats etc. Source:

12 Source:
To co nas najbardziej interesuje Source:

13 Metadata standards and cataloging rules (examples)
Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA) CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM) International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) Dublin Core (DC) MARC Standards …. CIDOC - The International Committee for Documentation

14 Indexing tools (examples)
Getty Vocabulaires: Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA) Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM) Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) Répertoire d'autorité-matière encyclopédique et alphabétique unifié (RAMEAU) Iconclass …. NAMES (controlled vocabulaires), name and subject authority files SUBJECT


16 245 00 |a Harris, Beebe & Co.: The Pocahontas Chewing Tobacco |h [graphic]/ |c The Hatch Lith. Co. N.Y. 520 0_ |a Tobacco package label depicting Pocahontas posed in nature. 600 20 |a Pocahontas, |d d 650 _4 |a Indians of North America |x Performances & portrayals |y 655 _7 |a Tobacco package labels |y |2 gmgpc _7 |a Chromolithographs |x Color |y |2 gmgpc LCSH Not specified TGM

17 245 10 |a Battle of New Orleans and death of Major General Packenham [sic] on the 8th of January 1815 |h [graphic] / |c West del. ; J. Yeager sc. 520 0_ |a Print shows the Battle of New Orleans from the British perspective, as British forces advance upon the earthworks or barricades from which the American forces, under the command of Andrew Jackson, repel the attack. Includes a head-and-shoulders portrait of Andrew Jackson, facing slightly left, with American flags and various weapons, appears below the battle scene. Prominent figures are identified by letter within the print and a corresponding key that is printed below the image, to the left and right of the title. In this print, Major General Lambert is depicted without the cloth or handkerchief that obscures his face. 600 14 |a Jackson, Andrew, |d |x Military service. 14 |a Pakenham, Edward Michael, |d |x Death & burial |z Louisiana |z New Orleans. 650 _0 |a New Orleans, Battle of, New Orleans, La., 1815. _7 |a Campaigns & battles |z Louisiana |z New Orleans |y |2 lctgm 651 _4 |a United States |x History |y War of 1812 |x Casualties |x British. _4 |a United States |x History |y War of 1812 |x Campaigns & battles. 655 _7 |a Keys (Legends) |y |2 gmgpc _7 |a Remarques |y |2 gmgpc _7 |a Engravings |y |2 gmgpc LCSH Not specified TGM

18 245 10 |a [Exterior view of fish market with several people, shoppers and merchant(?), holding fish, also a porter with large bundle on his back, and a woman playing a shamisen] |h [graphic]. 650 _7 |a Shopping |z Japan |y |2 lctgm _7 |a Fishmongers |z Japan |y |2 lctgm _7 |a Stores & shops |z Japan |y |2 lctgm _7 |a Merchandise displays |z Japan |y |2 lctgm _7 |a Porters |z Japan |y |2 lctgm _7 |a Street musicians |z Japan |y |2 lctgm _7 |a City & town life |z Japan |y |2 lctgm 655 _7 |a Book illustrations |y |2 gmgpc _7 |a Albumen prints |x Hand-colored |y |2 gmgpc TGM

19 245 10 |a Wild animal display in Wall Drug, Wall, South Dakota |h [graphic]. 653 __ |a Dead animals. |a Mounted animal. |a Wall Drug. |a Hunting. |a Hunter. |a Kill. |a America. 655 _7 |a Digital photographs |x Color |y |2 gmgpc uncontrolled TGM

20 1001_ |a Roberti, Ercole de',  |d d. 1496,  |e artist,  |e attributed name.
24510 |a [Sketches for Christ taken prisoner; Judas kiss]  |h [graphic]. 655_7 |a Ink drawings  |x Italian  |y   |2 gmgpc TGM

21 Images digitization in Poland

22 Images cataloging in Poland
MARC21 Bibliographic – adaption for still images (libraries) ISBD (libraries) Dublin Core (most of cultural heritage institutions) CCO indexing tools and practices vary from institution to another


24 insect-predated fruits Wicker basket
Basket of Fruit (c.1599) Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana Still life figs Oil on canvas grapes Italian painting peach apple Fruits insect-predated fruits Wicker basket Archips argyospita etc., etc…

25 Eating and drinking spaces

26 IS,OF, ABOUT to MARC 21 mapping (proposal)
245 title 655 genre/form term OF 520 note 653 additional subject access point ABOUT subject term What field in the bibliographic record? Tabela??

27 Image description – NL of Poland
subject terms (controlled vocabulary) overall scope of the document 655 genre/form terms (controlled vocabulary) type of document, technique, object genre 653 additional subject access points (both controlled and uncontrolled terms) secondary, subordinated or less important content elements 520 note/summary (free-text) meaning, purpose or function

28 Odwieziony we śnie na Itakę / Stanisław Hiszpański
520 Odysseus, fast asleep in a hidden harbor on Ithaka. Athena is keeping vigil over him. In background the sea and an ship, probably Phaeacian. 600 Odysseus 653 Homerus. Odusseia; Athena; Ithaka; sea; ship; harbor; man asleep; Greek mythology; Greek goddesse; gorgoneion 655 Illustration 655 Watercolour 655 Coloured drawing

29 Haquet et traîneau de brasseur / Jean Victor Adam
This print is probably a part of a larger series entitled 'Voitures'. At center of composition, a brewer's dray and sledge loaded with barrels; at right, in front of a café with an awning, a man on horseback and a man holding a barrel; beyond at left, buildings and a small crowd of soldiers; 653 road; horses; coffeehouse; barrel; delivery; awning; carriage 655 Genre scene 655 Lithograph 655 Print

30 [Bukiet kwiatów] / Helena Drzewiecka
650 Flowers pansy; iris; lily; ancolie; rose; bouquet 655 Gouache 655 Painting

31 … doomed failure? „What we really expect in a work of art is a certain personal element – we expect artist to have, if not a distinguished mind, at least a distinguished sensibility. We expect him to reveal something to us that is original – a unique and private vision of the world.” Herbert Read, Meaning of Art, London 1968, p. 27

32 Thank you for your attention!
Wanda Klenczon Paweł Rygiel

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