Curator’s Workbench 4.0 Released!

We recently released an updated version of the Creator’s Workbench with a number of significant additions to functionality (available for download here). The new version includes the ability to reuse crosswalks, create data dictionaries, and create mapped metadata ingest forms, among other things. Below is a summary of the major changes.

Reusable Crosswalks
In previous releases each crosswalk was a separate effort, involving deep knowledge of the MODS schema and the user supplied metadata. Now crosswalks can be copied between projects and used again. They can also take advantage of common MODS mappings from a shared data dictionary. This means that not everyone creating crosswalks needs to be a MODS expert. It also makes building crosswalks far less time consuming.

Data Dictionaries
Dictionaries streamline the process of mapping custom metadata to objects in crosswalks and forms. Dictionaries can conveniently package up the most common mappings and patterns for MODS elements for a set of users, allowing users and groups to share and reuse those standard patterns without having to build complex crosswalks for each project. Dictionaries can be designed for blocks of metadata and for the crosswalk connections that are used to create them. Dictionaries include labels and descriptive text to guide their use. They can be stored on network drives and shared by teams.

Deposit Form Designer
The forms feature allows the creation of web deposit forms suitable for a particular content stream. The forms use dictionary and crosswalk mapping components to map the input fields to the MODS schema or dictionary elements. Form designs also include explanatory text and designation of required fields. The forms work in tandem with a server-side form-hosting application, which can be configured to put uploads and MODS records into a folder or to deposit them into the repository via SWORD. The forms feature simplifies the creation of deposit forms, shifting form design from software developers to curators, who have greater familiarity with both the depositor community and with descriptive standards.

Originals and Drives
We’ve rebuilt the originals part of the workbench to better track drives and maintain the connection between groups of originals and original media. This means we have a clearer interface and better support for removable drives.

Image Previews
When you highlight an image file, either in the originals tree or the arrangement, you can see a preview of the image in the workbench. This saves a lot of time for those working with image collections. The preview window can be arranged and sized according to your workflow needs.

We added export support for a variety of identified work flow needs. A BagIt ZIP export function delivers project-based packages meeting this widely used standard. The project arrangement can now also be exported as a comma-separated file. This was implemented to support a local EAD authoring scenario, but may be useful to others. You can also now export entire projects to a ZIP file or a shared drive. This was done to support multi-user work flows and projects with a significant wait between the capture step and arrangement or description. Individual files, such as crosswalks and data dictionaries, can also be exported and imported across project and workbench installations.

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