CDASH Document Items

This page discusses the notion of CDASH Document Items as catalog records attached to digitized documents within the digital collection management environment provided by Omeka-S.

Topic Index

CDASH Document Items: Metadata Properties

The table below outlines each of the properties for the CDASH Document Item and provides guidelines for entering their contents. For more information on the concept of a CDASH Document Item, and on how to handle Omeka Items, see CDASH Schema.

Resource Template
All CDASH Documents use the CDASH Document template.
Choose Text or Image.
Text, Required
If the document has a title, enter it here. Otherwise a default title is constructed from the name of the associated Place and the Document Type.
Alternate Title
If the primary title has been re-assigned to the actual title of the document, then the alternate title assumes the previously assigned default title comprised as the associated CDASH Place name with the CDASH document type.
Omeka Resource
Each document Item must be related to at least one CDASH Place Item. These are normally assigned when the item is created through the bulk import procedure. If additional place references are added, use the Items button to initiate the process of choosing a place item.
CDASH Folder
Text, Required
The name of the physical folder in the Building Files where the original hard-copy document is filed. This value is filled in automatically for items imported through the bulk import process.
CDASH Document Type
Controlled Vocabulary
Each document Item is assigned a type -- e.g. Interior Image. These types are assigned during the bulk import process or chosen from the list, CDASH Document Types.
Author, Photographer, Artist.
If the credit for the content of the document is known, enter it here. If the creator is well known, use the buttons provided to choose a name from the Library of Congress Name Authority or the Getty List of Artist Names. Otherwise, just enter the name.
Creation Date
If the creation or issue date for the document is known, use the date picker widgets to enter a date. A plain four-digit year is sufficient.
A description of the document which might appear as a caption.
One or more keywords or phrases that help to categorize documents. These wil be most useful if they are consistently applied. Use the buttons provided to search through the Library of Congress Subject Headings or the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus. or pick from a list of list of frequently used CDASH Document Subjects. Even though all of the CDASH documents are concerned with Architecture and Buildings, these subjects are be included in the event that more generalized discovery systems harvest CDASH metadata to refer to items.

Each cdash document item is assigned to a CHC neighborhood. To enter a neighborhood manually, use the button provided to pick from the list of CHC neighborhoods. The automatic item uploader adds a second value for Neighborhood. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA to make CDASH records compliant with cataloging standards.
Street Address
This is normally the address associated with the CDASH place associated with this document item. Referenced above.
MACRIS Inventory Number
Text, URL
When a document or a place is connected with a specific referent of the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, Use the URI button to set the Label field to be the MACRIS ID, and the URI field to the landing page for the related MACRIS Resource.
After saving, check that the result performs as a clickable link.
Refers to a local collection and bibliographic citation. Defaults to: Cambridge Historical Commission, Digital Architectural Survey and History
If a document has a known copyright status enter it. Defaults to: Rights status not evaluated.
The size or duration of the resource. In many cases this will describe the number of pages or number of media files included in the document.
CDASH Document Identifier
text, Required
This value is normally assigned by the CDASH Doucument Item Uploader. If you need to make one by hand, make sure it is unique. Consisting of: the concatenation of the following sub-strings:
  • Batch Identifier. e.g. cdb_230931
  • Folder Identifier e.g. f13 (unique within a box)
  • Document Identifier =
    • "d" for document
    • Document Index Number e.g. 0012 (unique per folder)
    • Document Type Code e.g. AM

In the first round of item creation from the original boxes packed for the scanning process, the batch ID is the name of the box. Subsequently, batches of items wil be given a serial number based on the hear and the date as YYMMDD

An example of a complete Document ID: cdb_Box09_f9_d0039VE or cdb_231130_f9_d0039VE

Street Sort Key
text, Required, Private
This string provides a useful way of sorting items according to their street address. This key conxists of the "_" delimited street name, concatenated with an 8 digit string consisting of the house number laft-paded with zeros. The final two characters of the key consists of the two letter abbreviation of the document type. Example: Massachusetts_Av_00000077_IE
This value is normally assigned by the CDASH Doucument Item Uploader.
Item Set
Omeka Item Set
Every document Item should be assigned to the CDASH Document item set. Normally assigned by the CDASH Item Uploader

CDASH Document Types and Default Metadata Properties

The CDASH Document collection is initialized through a semi-automated rough sort process that resulted in the assignment of scanned images to one of thirteen pre-defined item types. These are document types that were chosen to comprise a nearly-complete categorization of the types of documents contained in the Building Files collection.

Classification of document types is accomplished quickly by looking at one-inch thumbnails of scanned pages, selecting pages that belong together, then dragging their icons into a bin according to the type of document represented.

Assignment of document types determines the assignment of several default item properties like titles, subjects that set up various search and filter and navigation possibilities.

The table below exposes the configuration of document types and corresponding default properties that are set in the CDASH Rough Sort toolkit [link forthcoming].

Automatic Title Assignment for Document Items

DUring the bulk-upload process, the title for each document is constructed by concatenating the Place Name associated with the document, a hyphen, and the Document Type. For example:

  • 77 Massachusetts Avenue - Photo Contact Sheet

CDASH Document Types

TypeSubject Keywords
AI Architectural Inventory Form Survey Forms
RF Research Form Research
RN Research Notes Research
HS Historical Building Survey Survey Forms
SM Supplemental Material Documents?
DM Demolition Memo Architecture | Buildings | Historical Commission | Business Letter | Correspondence
AM Article or Monograph Published Material
VP Plan View Plans
VE Exterior View Exterior Views
VI Interior View Interior Views
VD Detail View Detail Views
CS Photo Contact Sheet Photographs
EP Ephemera Ephemera

CDASH Recommended Subjects

Assigning subject keywords to document items causes them to be more amenable to search, filtering and discovery.

To save time and to promote consistency, CDASH metadata editors are offered a list of CDASH Subjects that they can pick from. The list is easily editable by a user with administrative permission.

Users will always be able to choose from other lists or just type free-text.

These terms are drawn from popular authoritative conventions wherever possible.

Before we start the data enrichment phase of CDASH this list should be substantially ammended.

CDASH Document Subjects

  • Architecture
  • Buildings
  • Structures
  • Architectural Documents
  • Published Material
  • Photographs
  • Application Forms
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Landmark Buildings
  • Survey Form
  • Research
  • Descriptive Notes
  • Historical Commission
  • Correspondence
  • Plans
  • Interior Views
  • Exterior Views
  • Site Plans