Creating Standardized Descriptions for Digital Images: The Project Apollo Archive

Samantha Bellinger, Virginia De Witt, Shevaun Ruby


This paper investigates obstacles confronted when describing and analyzing digital images using the principles
of bibliography. By examining images from space enthusiast Kipp Teague’s Flickr archive (Project Apollo Archive)
on the Apollo NASA missions, we were able to investigate methods for creating a standardized description. Using
sample images, we explored how layers of information accrue physically and digitally within artifacts. Our research
methodology addresses the lack of standardization for analyzing digital image files when compared with
traditional bibliographic principles. This paper draws on the field of media studies and theories laid out by Matthew
Kirschenbaum, David L. Vander Meulen, and Jonathan Sterne to demonstrate the multiplicity of information
inherent in digital images. The need for the files to be analyzed in a way that accounts for the artifact’s existence
at every stage of its evolution is helpful for the field of digital preservation and curation, which looks at artifacts
that cross medium boundaries.

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