[uf-discuss] Visual Art Titles Microformat Proposal

Emir Bukva ebukva at gmail.com
Sat Oct 21 13:52:04 PDT 2006

Hello all,

I'm blatantly new to the world of micro formats, but as I'm finding
them infectious, I'd like to explain a specific usage in which I have
a great deal of interest. Perhaps I can get some input on whether my
purpose is bona-fide and if it's appropriate for micro formats.

Forgive me for personal details, but for the sake of illustrating the
problem and the solution I envision micro formats offering, I'll
proceed. When I was working at my university as a student, my job
consisted of beginning to digitize the analog slide library. For art
historians' purposes, this means that dozens of thousands of 35mm
slides needed to be scanned, retouched, titled, and catalogued in a
digital format.

Titling is my focus here, because searching the web in order to update
partial and missing information on image records, is incredibly
disjointed experience. There is wealth of information available but no
easy way to access it or transfer it efficiently across formats and
structures. In fact, I found micro formats as I was thinking about the
most sensible way to mark up the data.

For basic and practical art historians' (and public) purposes, most
title records follow a standardized structure. For example:

Lee Krasner (American, 1908–1984).
Night Creatures, 1965.
Acrylic on paper, 76.2 x 108 cm
Gift of Robert and Sarah W. Miller
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

If meaning of the markup behind this information was simply able to handle:
artist, title, date(s) of creation, medium, size, unit of size,
collection, and location
a wealth of opportunity for automation and transfer would arise. Let
alone getting more detailed (marking up the host institution's item
cataloguing number, descriptions, specific movements the item belongs
to, category, etc...)

Would this effort be a genuine micro formats proposal? Are there
similar initiatives I'm not aware of?


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