Here at Indiana University we've developed a METS-based page-turner application we call METS Navigator. We're several months behind in our plans to release it as open source software but it really should be out any day now. :-) I'll send out a message to the METS list once it's available on SourceForge, and also send out documentation for a proposed METS profile for METS documents to work in the METS Navigator application very soon.
From: Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard on behalf of Jody DeRidder
Sent: Tue 11/29/2005 2:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [METS] METS display & search/retrieval
Hi, Brian (and others!)
Thank you for your leads, and your considered thoughts. We are looking for
options for METS viewers and search/retrieval of mixed formats with
descriptive metadata. If possible, we would like to use (or build on) open
source software, so any suggestions you may have for what's available would
In addition, we would love to see how your search/retrieval/display
interface works, so we can better judge what we want as an end product for
our own collections. Could you send a link or two as examples of what your
current interface has to offer? (I notice CDL has several
collections/services, and would like to know where to look to see what you
consider to be the best examples.)
Melanie here is indeed developing METS with child metadata, (and child
OCR'd text for search & retrieval of textual images) and we struggle to
work out how best to deliver. :-) The software we are currently testing
may not be a workable solution.
Thanks for any and all leads and suggestions!
University of Tennessee
> What we have done at CDL in our access repository based on xtf.sf.net is
> sort of like your option 3... The system we are using was designed for
> full text searching. If an object has a TEI or an EAD that is indexed,
> then the METS is mostly ignored at indexing. If the object is something
> like a photo scrapbook or a simple image with no TEI or EAD, then METS
> is indexed. The top level DMD (actually we cheat and assume the first
> DMD with xmlData is for the parent object) is turned into the dublin
> core metadata for the METS document as a whole; and where there is more
> DMD -- that is all indexed as if its the text of the document. This
> way, a metadata+text keyword search will find hits on words in the deep
> metadata and we will see "snippets" in the search results because our
> search results think they are hits in the text of the textsless
> document. I may be able to get it so that clicking on the faux-text hit
> in the snippet will open up the page viewer to the page where the hit is
> in the metadata.
> Some people have objected that this approach blurs the line between
> content and metadata because metadata is in the "text" index. I think
> this is only a temporary solution, ideally you could search across
> different levels of discovery granularity, and limit to specific fields
> at any level.
> Also, most of our METS are at the level of the individual item / photo /
> album with one descriptive record for the whole entity. One reason we
> went to METS was because people were not satisfied with searching EAD
> finding aids and having to dig down the description of subordinate
> components (dsc) to find the digitized item. They wanted an item level
> search of all the digital objects. Now that we have started to accept
> submissions of more complex METS, we are seeing more and more cases
> where significant portions of the dsc hierarchy has been moved to the
> METS structMap -- and we have the same issue of people wanting to search
> / retrieve on different levels of the hierarchy, because most of the
> item level cataloging is buried in deep metadata.
> -- Brian
> On Mon, 2005-11-21 at 06:46, mfeltner wrote:
>> I am working on a small cultural heritage collection that features a few
>> scrapbooks and photo albums from the early to mid-1900s. This collection is
>> the first at our institution to utilize METS for complex objects. Given how
>> new we are to METS, we're still feeling out how to make best use of it -- as
>> well as cope with the limitations of our digital content management
>> For each scrapbook/album, I am creating METS records featuring two levels of
>> descriptive metadata: (1) a parent DMD for the object as a whole; and (2)
>> child DMDs for the many individual photos/drawings on the pages. Our grant
>> project is particularly fortunate to have a historian on board, which has
>> allowed us to create rich descriptive records for most individual photos in
>> albums and scrapbooks. Perhaps the most important feature of these records
>> the identification of people in photos. These names are obviously best
>> captured in the child DMD for each photo, rather than the parent DMD.
>> I am curious how others working with similar materials are utilizing the
>> descriptive metadata records within a single METS file. I would like to see
>> these records exploited to their fullest capacity for search and discovery,
>> but am unsure what would be the best scenario to make that happen. Our
>> breaks METS objects into their many component objects. What this means for
>> resource discovery is that child objects as well as parent METS objects are
>> searched and retrieved. So a search that matches a child DMD will retrieve
>> that component image file and child DMD, as well as the entire METS object
>> parent DMD. For those of you dealing with complex, image-based materials
>> albums and scrapbooks, how are you allowing your many DMDs to be searched
>> Given our specific software in mind, it looks as if our collection may have
>> least three options:
>> 1. Allow only parent DMDs to be searched/retrieved through resource
>> but allow child DMDs to be viewed as the user pages through the METS object
>> a whole.
>> This kind of functionality might be possible if we can deactivate
>> search/retrieval of child DMDs in our software. According to this scenario,
>> the child DMDs would *not* function as *access* points, but could provide
>> additional information if a user finds a particular photo/drawing for which
>> he/she would like more detail. One particular problem this raises is the
>> inability/difficulty of finding photos of specific people that are located
>> albums/scrapbooks through the search interface. For example, if one
>> Roosevelt and a scrapbook contains a picture of Roosevelt, but that name is
>> only captured in a child DMD, resource discovery will not retrieve that
>> or scrapbook.
>> 2. Allow both parent and child DMDs (and corresponding objects) to be
>> and retrieved.
>> This is the current functionality supported by our software. Using the
>> previous example of searching Roosevelt, this would result in both the
>> specific image of Roosevelt being retrieved (with this record indicating
>> this child object is part of a particular scrapbook), as well as the
>> as a whole. Even if the relationship to the parent is specified in the
>> DMD, do you think this could be confusing for users?
>> 3. Allow both parent and child DMDs to be searched, but retrieve only the
>> parent METS object.
>> Actually, I'm not even sure if this is possible in our software, but we can
>> always ask for enhancements, right?
>> Using the Roosevelt example again, this would result in the full scrapbook
>> being retrieved for this query. The parent DMD for the scrapbook, however,
>> mentions nothing of Roosevelt, so this might result in confusion/frustration
>> for the user. They might interpret this as a false hit or otherwise get
>> of paging through the scrapbook looking for a needle in a haystack, as it
>> Unfortunately, our software does not include functionality that would allow
>> the scrapbook to be retrieved but opened to the particular page on which
>> Roosevelt is pictured. This, to me, would be the best option, as access to
>> the individual item would be preserved, but the item would also never be
>> viewed outside its original context within the scrapbook.
>> Any comments/feedback on these options would be greatly appreciated. Do any
>> of these three sound better/worse than the others? Can anyone think of
>> alternative scenarios that would better utilize our metadata and facilitate
>> access to important pieces of a whole?
>> Many thanks,
>> Melanie Feltner-Reichert
>> Digital Coordinator
>> IMLS Funded Digital Collection:
>> "From Pi Beta Phi to Arrowmont"
>> John C. Hodges Library
>> University of Tennessee
>> Knoxville, Tennessee
>> Email: [log in to unmask]