Practical Technology for Archives

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For over six years the Marquette University Archives managed patron-driven scanning requests using a desktop version of Extensis Portfolio while building thematically-based digital collections online using CONTENTdm. The purchase of a CONTENTdm license with an unlimited item limit allowed the department to move over 10,000 images previously cataloged in Portfolio into the online environment. While metadata in the Portfolio database could be exported to a text file and immediately imported into CONTENTdm’s project client, we recognized that we had an opportunity to analyze and clean our metadata using OpenRefine as a part of the process. We also hoped to update our Portfolio database and the metadata embedded into the files themselves to reflect the results of this cleanup. This article will discuss the process we used to clean metadata in OpenRefine for ingest into CONTENTdm as well as the use of Portfolio and the VRA Panel Export-Import Tool for writing metadata changes back to the original image files.