1889 "Exposition Universelle" Paris World Fair Wiki

The theme of this digital library is the 1889 Exposition Universelle World's Fair held in Paris, France.  This topic was selected because it allowed each member of the group to examine an aspect that was of interest to them, yet kept the project very focused. We specifically chose this particular fair as there was a major icon, the Eiffel Tower, attached to it and we felt we would have a greater chance of finding relevant sources. Despite some initial apprehension about how much information there might be available on the topic, we discovered that there is a wealth of material, both in English and in French, although some items included multiple World's Fairs. Accordingly, the group tried to include sources that concentrated mostly on the 1889 Paris Fair, unless there was a specific correlation between our fair and how it directly affected another. In addition, we tried to choose sources that would put the Exposition Universelle in context with the world around it. This was to demonstrate the Fair's outstanding effect on culture and society of the time, and vice versa.

Sub-pages of the site discuss several aspects of the exposition's significance, representing the topic of interest to the group members, including the following

  • Architecture and Technology
  • Culture and Anthropology
  • Fashion
  • History
  • Music

Each page is summarized by a different member of the group. Each of us chose our subject based on personal preference, prior knowledge and expertise, and how pertinent we felt it was within the context of the 1889 Exposition Universelle.

Also included are:

  • a general page of sources that cover multiple aspects of the expo
  • the requisite "About this Library" page (that you are now reading)
  • a page of links related to the topics but either too general or too ambiguous to specifically catalog using the metadata schema

Resources have been chosen for each of the specific content areas because they provide relevant information on that topic.  In the course of our research we found that some sources overlapped and we either decided which subject it covered more or put it on the Citations of General Resources page and linked to it. Since the topic is historical in nature and pre-dates many accessible forms of photography as well as audio or video recordings, most of the items are either books, articles from newspapers, and drawings.  Nonetheless, we were able to find some multimedia items: either original works archived in repositories like the Library of Congress, or more popular DVDs and YouTube videos recently produced from earlier period materials.  Many are on-line reproductions of original resources, therefore they were included.  Given the age and uniqueness of each item, we are providing as much of the following metadata about each as possible.

Our metadata schema is loosely modeled after AACR2 but uses headings to make it clear what information is presented on each line.  We chose to put each field on a separate line to improve the clarity of the display.  Since we have so many types of materials and many are very old and of unknown origin, not every item utilizes all of the metadata fields.  When this occurs, they are most often omitted, but occasionally, where the field is crucial (e.g. "Creator" (author), it may be marked as "not provided."  Abstracts of items are provided where we were able to either find an abstract provided by the source or where we were able to view the source itself and write our own abstract.  Where only citations were available, the abstract may be absent.

The fields included in our metadata schema include:

  • Title (bolded to improve ease of reading)
  • Series information, if the item is part of a series
  • Creator:  author, editor, or other major contributor, if known
  • Publisher information, including date, where available  
  • Language
  • Physical description
  • Unique identifier: can include ISBN number for books, database information for articles, or URL for on-line resources.  Links are provided as much as possible.  
  • A brief abstract, where available.  See explanation above.  
  • Notes, where applicable  

Images and written information about the Exposition Universelle are provided on the site to provide visual interest and tie together the materials chosen for the library. These include book covers, photographs and illustrations from the publications, and other visuals.

We hope you will enjoy exploring our library as much as we enjoyed compiling it. 


Marianne Kordas

Stephanie Lewin

Carol Sabbar

John Sutton

Jason Wunsch