Metadata: CONTENTdm Collections vs Samvera Worktypes

Metadata: CONTENTdm Collections vs Samvera Worktypes

When thinking through your metadata schema crosswalk, it’s important to understand the beginning and end

In Samvera, metadata schemas are decided at the worktype level. This differs dramatically from CONTENTdm, which houses these decisions at the collection level. Out of the box Hyrax/Hyku only has one worktype, this means you will likely need to create more worktypes to suit your needs, and/or you will need to crosswalk into a more simplified schema.

What is a worktype in Samvera? “Works represent resources proper, ie. the resources we are managing in our repository and want to describe, such as a thesis, the work depicted by an image, a dataset etc.”

If you are the technical part of your migration, one of the most helpful gems to add to your Samvera stack (along with Hybridge!) is Dog Biscuits. This gem helps automate the process of creating models and worktypes, which can be a lengthy process if done manually. Consider looking at Dog Biscuits’ wiki to help contextualize what your technical needs might be when migrating to Hyku to help work with your metadata specialists and non-technical migration team.

If you are non-technical, Bridge2Hyku’s migration toolkit includes documentation surrounding Metadata Analysis, and thinking through crosswalking to Hyku’s model worktypes. It is important to look at your digital library as a whole when working through the change between collection-based metadata and item-based metadata. Here are some high-level questions to ask your team when sitting down to do this work:

  • What fields could be subsumed as additional entries into “Notes” or “Description”?
  • Does our institution have any unusual required fields? (These are likely fields that cannot be crosswalked as easily and might require technical additions to your Hyku/Hyrax instance)
  • What fields are we using that are specific to our needs in CONTENTdm?
  • What would be the benefits of having different worktypes in the new repository? What are the drawbacks?

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