Dear TARO participants,
We need your input to plan our path forward in relation to the Index Terms (also known as <controlaccess> terms) such as personal and corporate names, subject terms, and genre terms used in finding aids submitted to TARO.
As you may know, TARO has not in the past strictly required use of a particular controlled vocabulary, and repositories have used what fit their collections. This has resulted in a rather wide variety of headings in TARO, raising concerns for the user’s experience in trying to browse TARO by index terms. Imagine for example, browsing across all name, subject, or format headings in TARO – there would be similar headings with minor differences in them, some finding aids with many headings and some with few, some with ending punctuation and others with none, some with local headings, some with only authorized headings.
We are therefore exploring whether it makes sense to either:
1.) Engage in TARO-wide index term clean up work (with repository participation / approval) and require use of only specific vocabularies going forward or
2.) Leave repositories to use vocabularies as they wish, and implement software (Metadata Hopper) to apply broad subject categories for browsing purposes. A program using this software is the [explore.chicagocollections.org]Chicago Collections.
Many repositories will have varied answers to these questions, please just answer as best you can. The information will not be publicized; it will only be used to get an honest view for planning purposes.
Please answer our very brief survey by Friday June 2, 2017.