Digital Collections Workshop: Metadata Cleanup

You’ve assessed the readiness of your metadata and have developed ideas of what your institution is going to prioritize for cleanup. But how are you going to approach cleanup: locally, centrally, a combination? The workshop, its preparatory assignment, and its follow-up assignment, will equip you to make these decisions.

The workshop is discussion-based and requires a preparatory assignment, active participation, and a follow-up homework assignment.


Robin Fay, Metadata Analyst

Supporting Staff

Photo of Elizabeth Duell

Elizabeth Duell

Program Support & Events Manager

Orbis Cascade Alliance

Work Phone: (541) 246-2470

Pronouns: she/her/hers



Before attending the workshop, please do the following:

  • Review the documentation:
    • Metadata Cleanup Decision Matrix
    • OpenRefine for Metadata Cleanup

Consider the following scenario from Pine State University:

Pine State University (PSU) is a medium-size four year-university in the mountain state of Pine with a full suite of offerings that includes the humanities, the sciences, business, and education schools. PSU makes its unique and local collections available through a consortial ILS, a consortial database of finding aids, a Digital Asset Management system, and an institutional repository. PSU has digitized about 5,000 items, beginning their work in the late 1990s with an IMLS grant, and managed it and made it available in a homegrown system. The metadata has largely been created by students and by a longtime and devoted volunteer who is especially interested in the history of typewriters.

Then, please complete the following preparations:

  • Connect to this sample metadata set from Pine State University and save a copy to your computer or to your Google Drive.
  • Using the Metadata Readiness Checklist and Metadata Cleanup Decision Matrix, identify what needs to be cleaned up and what method(s) you will use
  • Using the instructions in the OpenRefine documentation, install OpenRefine on your computer
  • Use OpenRefine to clean up a few of the items that are appropriate for local cleanup (you do not have to do them all)
  • Come prepared to share your experiences!
  • The workshop is discussion-based is so much more worthwhile if everyone is prepared.
  • Review the instructions and ground rules, and ensure that you are joining from your own computer and have both a microphone and headphones. The workshop is not a broadcast; it is a discussion.


  • Using the system-specific export tools available in the Documentation Center, use the Metadata Cleanup Decision Matrix and OpenRefine to clean up a set of metadata from your institution. 
  • Share your set with your instructors for comments
  • Due dates:
    • March 20 by 5 pm Pacific

Supported in part with a grant awarded by the Oregon Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program of the Oregon State Library