Metadata for phonograph records : facilitating new forms of use and access

by Catherine Wanwen. Lai

Institution: McGill University
Department: Schulich School of Music.
Degree: PhD
Year: 2007
Keywords: Metadata.; Cataloging of audio-visual materials  – Standards.; Digital libraries.
Record ID: 1811167
Full text PDF: http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/thesisfile102835.pdf


This dissertation presents a new metadata design, as part of a large digitization management system being developed, to assist in the consistent creation of digital libraries of phonograph records. The Metadata provides digital libraries with an effective tool for the description, discovery, management, control, delivery, and sharing of digital objects of phonograph record. The metadata design is the outcome of two pilot projects for the digitization of phonograph records that took place at the Marvin Duchow Music Library at McGill University. The new design offers an approach to maintaining and using digital sound and ensures the long-term viability of digital libraries of phonograph records. The dissertation discusses key areas of preservation and addresses the most common retrieval problems of music in digital libraries. These problems include challenges in the digital context of bibliographic control, cataloging, distribution, and copyright protection. The dissertation revisits traditional cataloging approaches, summarizes historical music cataloging and metadata development, sets up preservation principles and rationales for digitizing phonograph records, and presents state-of-the-art techniques for preserving phonograph records in the digital domain. The dissertation contains three main parts. The first is an introduction to the new metadata design for phonograph records. The second is a metadata dictionary, which assigns precise syntactic and semantic meanings to metadata elements, to guide digitizers working in libraries, archives, museums, and heritage sectors. These will be followed by two case studies of phonograph record digitization projects using the Metadata and the Data Dictionary. The dissertation concludes by examining three challenges that are critical to future development in both the preserving of and access to phonograph records: the issue of interoperability between different metadata standards, the need for usability and quality evaluation of digitization management systems, and the importance of further development in digital library retrieval services and tools.