My Experience as a DAMS Metadata Intern

My name is Muminah and I’m about to enter my final year of studying Computer Science and Maths. For the past couple of months I’ve worked as a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) Metadata Intern for the Uni’s Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service (CHDS) under the Library and Uni Collections (L&UC) department of ISG. 

I was interested in this role because I wanted to gain more experience working with data as I’m interested in Data Technology and hope to pursue a career in the field. As well as this, I was excited for the opportunity to contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage items and gain experience of working full-time.  

In my first couple of weeks, I completed some online training and learnt more about the CHDS’ services and online resources,  along with software that I would need to use as part of my role such as the LUNA DAMS and ALMA (DiscoverEd). During this time I wrote a short report on LUNA to evaluate its pros and cons. As well as this, I attended the Team Away Day at Edinburgh Zoo. In the morning, we did some fun ice-breakers including trying to find 8 things we all had in common before having a meeting to review and reflect on the team’s work from the previous year and plan ahead for the upcoming year. During the meetings, we were fueled with lots of tea, coffee and snacks, including penguin and sloth-shaped shortbread! In the afternoon, we walked around the zoo and got to see some of the animals – overall it was a fun day and a really nice opportunity to get to know the team better. 

Over the next few weeks, I began analysing the metadata of the digitised images from the LUNA DAMS. This was to determine how ready each collection was for migration to the new DAMS and therefore, how much work would still be needed before the data could be migrated. For this, I used Python in Jupyter Notebooks to generate stats on the metadata and display the results in graphs based on specific criteria such as how many images an item had, whether or not it was catalogued, if it was suitable for OCR etc. The results of the analysis revealed that many items were lacking metadata in certain fields, so for the rest of the internship my job was to review and update this data using information stored in the Luna DAMS software and other library systems such as ALMA. 

Overall, I’m really thankful for the opportunity to complete this internship as I’ve enjoyed learning more about the digitisation process used to preserve cultural heritage items and gaining valuable work experience through my contribution to the DAMS Migration project. 

Muminah Koleoso

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