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 focus on an aspect that was of interest to them, yet kept the project very focused. The topic was not too broad so as to focus our research and not allow "nearly anything" to be included. Conversely, despite some initial skepticism, there is a wealth of materials on the topic, both in English and in French.
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
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. 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 are in. 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 all items utilize 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
- 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.