Join the Crowd(sourcing): Turning to Our Readers for Metadata Help

We’re searching for the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

One of the most exciting trends in digital collections of late has been the emergence of “crowdsourcing.” The idea is simple: post some images about which you know nothing (or very little) and turn to the collective knowledge of a user group – say, a Facebook page or Twitter followers – for help. Using the power of the crowd, we can fill gaps in metadata content or other information that would take a single researcher or cataloger far longer to track down on their own.

We’re taking an excursion into the world of crowdsourcing with a small pilot project presented via our Flickr collection ( Just follow the link at the end of this post to see a set of 6 images where we need a little help filling out our cataloging information. Some feature groups of people about which we know little; others take place in front of buildings we can’t identify; and still others are lacking a specific date, including a particular year.

If you’d like to try your hand at some metadata sleuthing, just click below and break out your magnifying glasses. If you spot something you’d like to tell us about, send us an email at and we’ll investigate your tips; if they’re accurate, we’ll add them to our digital collections – and give you the credit!

Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections Crowdsourcing Pilot Project

Special thanks to The Texas Collection and the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive for providing images for this project.

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