General questions about items (books) with multiple files (each page)

Some questions. We have multiple booklets of cartoon images from one of our contributors. The contributor has created individual jpgs of each cartoon image in the booklet (one per page, so that’s easy enough) and then added metadata to each (i.e., creator, date, tags, etc). Typically we upload a whole booklet as a single item with multiple files attached, but we have never added metadata to individual files; so basically it’s just one booklet with top-level metadata, and nothing for individual files… In this case, however, it would make more sense to have that individual file metadata be accessed as well. In other words, you could go to item, page through it, or click on an individual file within it and then get the metadata for that particular file.

I was thinking of doing the following:

  1. We currently use fotorama to display all individual files together in a booklet, which looks nice. Would like to keep that.
  2. Each file that one pages through can then also be clicked on to display its individual metadata – probably linked to another page, not as a pop-up.
  3. Import the metadata from the contributor (about 1,000 files in total), probably using CSVImport+ (?)

My questions/concerns:

  1. Since each page won’t be an individual item in the database, would one still be able to search the metadata on these files? This is kind of important - the images have different creators, titles, tags etc.
  2. How difficult is it when importing to map metadata for all files within an item? How would I set up the csv for that?

Or if anyone else is handling a similar issue with books/booklets and multiple files with metadata, would like to hear what you’re doing to handle it.

We have a similar issue with items for a person or historic home when there are multiple images of that person or home. In our database, the metadata for a person or house provides lifelong information like a biography or a house history. We don’t attach image files to these items. Why? Because over its lifetime, a person or building may have been photographed many times. Each photograph has its own story and therefore gets its own item with metadata describing the image and recording when it was taken, where, and by whom.

To associate the item for a person or building with its images, we create relationships so that when you view a person’s item you see all of the images that depict that person, and when you view one of the image items, you also see the biography item for the person along with all the other images of that person.

With this approach, all metadata stays at the item level (never at the file level) so that searching and search results work as you would expect.

You can read more about what we call the Archive Relational Model or look at an example of the item for a person that shows all other items related to it.

I’m happy to answer any questions.

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In terms of search, the search settings allows you to indicate if you want files and their metadata to be included in a general keyword search of the site (advanced searches are item only).

If you’re interested in setting up relational structures between items you might look at the record relations plugin for Omeka Classic.

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Instead of the plugin Record Relations, you may use ItemRelations (or my fork for an improved interface).