Standards & Guidelines

The vision for MExIndex is to create a platform that encourages the discovery of visual arts-based and experimental moving image work by Irish and Ireland-based artists in the form of an index that is both searchable and sustainable To achieve this it is vital to ensure that the information accumulated about these works is documented in a consistent and transparent way. This has been done by creating and employing a set of guidelines that helps to decide what needs to be documented and how.

Rather than devise rules from scratch about how to approach this task, we went about adapting existing documentation standards that were created by experts in the field of information science. This meant that we could employ a tried and tested set of freely available standards that ensured that our guidelines are sustainable and easy to maintain. It also means that the information we accumulate is potentially shareable across other platforms.

MExIndex employs recommended standards published by the Library of Congress and its guidelines are closely based on the internationally recognised PBCore standard. The standard is closely based on Dublin Core, the recommended standard of the Digital Repository of Ireland which is a national service for the long-term digital preservation of Ireland’s humanities, social science, and cultural heritage resources.

We are indebted to Anja Mahler, Digital Collections Management Officer at the IFI Irish Film Archive, for her collaboration in  devising the present format which is specific to moving image and also covers experimental sub-categories.

The core information we have decided to account for can be divided into four categories:

  • Information to identify the moving image work
    Title, Creator, Date, Medium, Description
  • Content classification information to ease retrieval and identification of the moving image work
    Genre, Form, Subject
  • Details describing technical aspects of the moving image work
    Language, Original Format, Duration, Aspect Ratio, Sound, Colour
  • Reference and rights information to aid access to the moving image work
    Link to work or excerpt of work, Link to Artist Website, Rights

MExIndex guidelines are closely based on the PB Core Metadata standard, a set of core elements, published by the Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary Project.  This documentation standard is closely based on the widely adapted Dublin Core Metadata standard, created by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative but is more tailored to the needs of moving image.  To format the content of the metadata elements we have followed recommendations by PB Core and The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the Library of Congress (LOC).

We currently document this information both in the form of a spreadsheet and a database. Here we have laid the foundation for a schematic approach by assigning each label to its equivalent according to the PB Core standard. Additionally we accumulate administrative information such as who collected the information and when.

If you are interested in finding out more about the standards and guidelines we have applied in building MExIndex please find further details in the pdf attached below or contact us directly.

MExIndex Guidelines Version 1.0 (pdf, 71kb)

– Fifi Smith (Director of MExIndex), Alice Butler (2016 Curator in Residence, MExIndex) & Anja Mahler (Digital Collections Management Officer, IFI Irish Film Archive) August 2016