Special Collections & Archives Blog

Between DSpace and the Deep Blue Sea

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:05 pm

“And what added greatly to our distress, while the carpenters was [sic] cutting away the main mast, a sudden gust of wind came and carried it away, about ten feet above where they was [sic] cutting; and, as it was dark, we could not see to cut away the back stays therefore they brought the head of the mast under the counter of the ship which greatly alarmed us for the ship lay rolling up on it all night and we expected her bottom would have been staved in before the morning. At this time the tiller broke so that we were left destitute of all means of help and even being saved: our livestock all perished and washed overboard, our provisions all damaged, our strength quiet exhausted with extreme fatigue and want of refreshment, our flesh worn off from our bones, our eyes sunk into our heads for want of sleep. and the boisterous wind still adding to our distress.” — ZSR, Special Collections and Archives, PCMF 5, Memoir of John Stradley, 1777-1781.

OK. So, I tried a bit to expand my acquaintance with dSpace today. The immediate task was to add an article about the Memoir of John Stradley, which we have only on microfilm, to the “item” containing the file of the digitized microfilm. An item can contain more than one thing. This is handy when, for example, one wants to unite several views or versions a something in one place (as in the back and front of a photograph).

Once I had two digital objects associated as a single item, I then needed to describe the item as having two digital objects: a scan from a microfilm of an 18th century journal and an article about that journal.

I was not very satisfied by my efforts for two reasons. First, there are no formatting options in the description window (so formatting must be done in html, right?) Question: How has the metadata been formatted up to now?

Secondly there is only the tiniest space to describe (or label) each digital object or instance. Question: is it possible to have a larger space for entering information about individual bitstreams/objects/instances?


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