Call for Participation: In Her Own Right Metadata Enhancement Event, 3/27, 1-5pm

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Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Feb 28, 2020, 2:03:40 PM2/28/20
In Her Own Right Metadata Enhancement Event

Call for Participation

The CLIR- and NEH-funded project In Her Own Right: Women Asserting Their Civil Rights, 1820-1920 invites librarians, digital humanists, public historians, students of all levels, and allies to create enhanced descriptions of materials related to women’s agency at our inaugural Metadata Enhancement Event of 2020. No special knowledge or experience is required. 

The In Her Own Right portal offers access to over ten thousand letters, journals, diaries, scrapbooks, publications, and pamphlets from twenty Philadelphia-area institutions that tell the story of women’s activism in the century leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment. This event, the first in a series to continue through 2020, aims to add to our existing metadata for two main purposes: to improve search and discovery in our database, and to enable the creation of maps, timelines, and network visualizations that will help us understand these materials in new ways. 

How Will This Work? 

We will meet on Friday, March 27th, 2020, 1-5pm, in Room L-14 of W.W. Hagerty Library at Drexel University. We will all have access to digitized letters, diaries, and other archival material. These items already have some form of description. We will work to describe these digital objects in more detail by adding information such as personal names, subjects, locations, and transcriptions.

Desktop computers will be available for all participants, but you are also welcome to bring your laptop. We will use Google Sheets to ensure that we can easily share our work and collaborate. Before we begin, we will review metadata standards for names and subjects, as well as methods for creating transcriptions.

How to Participate

Please sign up here: Anyone interested in participating is welcome, and no prior training or background is necessary. Please indicate your name, email address, home institution (if applicable), any previous experience working with metadata, and dietary restrictions. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Lindsay Van Tine at

Benefits of Participating 

This is an experimental approach to enhancing library records for unique items. You might be wondering what you get out of this. For students, this is a great way to get started understanding metadata and its role in visualization and digital scholarship, to meet people in the field who share these interests, and to build your resume. For digital humanists, librarians, public historians, and everyone, this is a great way to come together as a community to ensure this material is as useful as possible for us all. Everyone who participates will receive credit on the final website. Oh, and of course, there will be pizza.

There Will Be Pizza

We know everyone’s busy. This is a sign of appreciation. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know in the sign-up form and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Location and Directions 

Drexel University’s W.W. Hagerty Library is located at 3300 Market Street. Additional information and directions can be found here. Non-Drexel participants will need a photo ID at the door.

What Do We Mean By Metadata? 

We mean the structured description of books, letters, journals and other material that will make it easier to find and identify these materials. For example, subjects discussed in a letter, dates of a journal, and place names mentioned in a diary are all forms of metadata. Adding more detail to our existing metadata will help users find relevant materials in our database. It will also allow us to create maps, timelines, and network visualizations to enable new understandings of these materials. We’ll discuss all this in more depth at the event.

More About In Her Own Right

In Her Own Right: Women Asserting Their Civil Rights, 1820-1920 is a project identifying and aggregating material reflecting the early struggle for women’s rights in the collections of members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). The collections document women’s efforts to improve the lives of women, children and families in the century leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment. The In Her Own Right portal makes collection metadata and representative images from twenty area repositories accessible through a single interface.

Call for Participation_ In Her Own Right Metadata Enhancement Event.pdf
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