Uploading items

Once books are scanned, there are several different steps to go through before they appear on the Living Archive website.

All the metadata (information about the book, like title, the names of people involved in creating the book, date and place of publication, etc) is stored in a spreadsheet. Once a group of books is scanned, the metadata is double-checked on the spreadsheet, as this is the information that will appear on the website. Some categories have ‘controlled vocabulary‘ which means that the information has to match exactly – so things like place names have to spelt correctly. This can be a challenge for places or languages with different names, so we have created standard names such as Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) or Arrarnta, Western. Also, all creators are assigned a code so that people whose names may appear differently in different books can have all their items grouped together.

Once we’re happy that all the information is correct, and all the files and folders are consistently named, the technical team at CDU Library do a batch upload. This takes all the information from the spreadsheet and the files from the server and uploads them all to the eSpace digital repository. These then have to be checked, because we usually find some issue – sometimes even supposedly minor things like spaces or commas can make a difference (this time it was the shape of the apostrophe in Galiwin’ku!)

Once they’re uploaded, we have to check which items can then be made public, which means they have had permission granted by all the relevant people. These items go into the ‘open’ collection which appears on the Living Archive website, and all the others stay in a ‘closed’ collection, awaiting permissions. Once they’re made public, the books appear immediately on the website, but sometimes the counting of items takes a day to catch up (these things reset overnight).

We also need to link any ‘related items‘, such as translations in other languages or different versions, sometimes audio or multimedia files. Some books have lots of these, such as the Little Frog book which is in 6 different languages! Then all the files and folders are merged into the appropriate collections, on both eSpace and the local server.

The whole process can take quite a while, and it rarely goes completely smoothly. We usually do a few collections at once, so hundreds of items may be uploaded at different points throughout the year. Despite all the quality control processes, we still manage to find errors – if you find any, feel free to let us know so we can fix them!