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Leicester Special Collections

Achievements of the Metadata Volunteers

Editing image descriptions in metadata Excel spreadsheets 1.JPG

Working from home

Whilst there were challenges for all of the volunteers, nevertheless the team who worked on images and metadata achieved a great deal.

In the process they developed their own skills in describing the details of an image in a concise and consistent way.  The volunteers were also offered training sessions, including an introduction to archives, research methodology, writing workshops and training in the use of the Omeka software to produce online exhibits, such as this one.

Use of Google Streetview to confirm geolocation data 2.JPG

Google Streetview for geolocations.

 This whole experience demonstrated the importance of metadata when applied to visual images.  How many of us have photographs of past events and family members with no record of exactly when it was and who the people are?  It also showed how an image can offer so much to enhance the written word and form an important part of any archive collection.



Statistics on work undertaken

Over the period of the project the following was achieved.

15 volunteers spent a total of 375 hours of work and enhanced 687 records by improving titles and descriptions to aid future researchers.



Digital resources such as Google, Google Earth and Wikipedia were used along with items such as Annual Reports etc. made available by the University archivists in an online virtual reading room.  As has been noted, access to printed material was extremely limited, the following are items that some members of the team did have access to in personal archives at home and details are provided for anyone that might wish to do further research.


"The University of Leicester, A History, 1921 - 1996", Burch, B; University of Leicester, 1996

"Reflections of the University of Leicester" Burgess, R G and Wood, J; University of Leicester Press, 2010

"New University" Simmons, J; Leicester University Press, 1958

"Leicester and its University", Simmons, J; Leicester University Press, 1963

"Over The Wall, A working-class girl at university in the 1950s", Bullock, B; Brewin Books, 1998

Copies of "Convocation Review" or "Graduates' Review" (the annual graduates' magazine) 1982 to date

"The Percy Gee Tips" of 1982 - a student's handbook published by the Students' Union


Thanks are due to all of the “So that they may have life” Project Team for their support and encouragement during the project.