Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brief Description

Information in the Brief Description (also called Description) field describes the item or the contents of the item in a short paragraph to accurately describe the item and to provide information enabling a researcher to decide whether or not the item will be useful.

Describe the contents of the book. If it is a general book you may want to include information as to why it is relevant for your collection - chapter 2 includes information about St John's church, for example. Often looking at the contents of a book provides sufficient information for a summary. An example might be - Topics include information about early history of the area, churches, schools, quarries, farming. Also note whether the book is illustrated, has a bibliography, has an index, includes maps. Often books have useful lists that should be noted such as list of mayors, list of head teachers, list of clergy.

The book - Footscray, a pictorial record of the Municipality from 1859 to 1988 - has the following description:
A large pictorial history of Footscray under the headings Town Hall, People places and churches, Parks hotels hospitals, Schools sport bands and processions, Commerce and industry, Street scenes and houses, Transport and trams, River and bridges. A list of subscribers to the book is on page 151.

Include type of photograph - eg black and white or coloured
Describe the contents of the photograph so that the researcher can visualise what the photograph is about and also be able to identify the actual photograph from the description.
If the item is framed, describe the frame.
If cataloguing a series of images as one set include information as to the number of images in the set and the subjects of the images in the set.

The image - Tram to Doncaster Tower - has the following description:
Black and white photograph of a poster advertising outings to the Doncaster Tower by means of the train from Princes Bridge Station to Box Hill, and thence by tram to Doncaster. The poster is illustrated by pictures of the tower and the closed box tramcar. The poster was printed for H. J. Hilton, the operator of the tram. (Photograph mounted with caption).

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