Document Type


Publication Title

Midwest Archives Conference Annual Meeting

Publication Date



linked data, descriptive work, identifiers, data


The archives and library community has implemented linked data in recent years. Linked data empowers archivists to connect local data to a global audience using common identifiers and standards. However, due to the high level of institutional requirements that projects typically need with the high barrier of time and resources, many archivists have difficulty incorporating linked data practices into their daily descriptive work.

The Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at Illinois State University’s Milner Library received the opportunity to digitize a segment of the expansive Ken-Way Studio Photograph Collection. The collection encompasses 120 linear feet and documents the history of Bloomington-Normal and the Central Illinois region. The Ken-Way Studio Digital Collection is a detailed photographic history of the development of national businesses in the Midwest. Many of the images in the digital collection feature the local and regional Central Illinois business community. Several companies held national significance, including Prairie Farms, Standard Oil, Admiral Corporation, and Nestle Beich.

Because the collection was not physically processed, it allowed an opening to invest time to research and create original descriptive metadata, including linked data elements, to accompany individual images in the digital collection. To lower the barrier, Milner Library observed an incremental approach to contribute to the linked data environment and prepared descriptive metadata for future use/reuse.


This poster was accepted for the Midwest Archives Conference 2020 annual meeting. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was canceled. In addition to ISUReD, the poster is deposited at the Midwest Archives Conference 2020 open access conference proceeding site:



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