Wednesday, 25 June 2008


Tagging is one way to harness user knowledge about existing items. Tagging is the process of adding tags to an object and both the creator and users of the object can do it. A tag is "a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information which helps describes an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching."

Tags are an informal way of classifying items using user terminology. The use of tags by archives has not been very widespread, although there are some examples of archives with photography collections allowing users to add information about images.

Instead, tagging has been used more in the museum sector, particularly in art museums to encourage users to label images with their own words. Tagging improves access to resources by allowing users to search for keywords in a vocabulary that’s familiar to them. In this way it helps museums to bridge the gap between the language used by museum staff in creating descriptions and that used by visitors when searching for an object.

  • Steve.Museum Project (this project uses social tagging for the art collections of several museums)
  • Powerhouse Museum (this site allows user to add keywords to the items held in its online collections database)
An example of the differences in language used by museum and archive staff to categorise items and that used by visitors to find items is in the Smithsonian Photography Initiative where there is a picture of an elephant. For this picture the Smithsonian staff assigned the keywords of mammal, zoology and architecture. It is only in the visitor’s keyword section that the word elephant was actually been assigned.


  © Blogger template Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP