The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Folger Tooltips: Media group wrangling, part one

Our last tooltip covered how to create your own login for the Folger digital image databases, and once logged in how to create and begin working with media groups.

Today we’ll focus on some useful features of your media groups including: moving (or copying) images in and out of your various groups; importing photos to your media group from flickr; exporting your media group to powerpoint.

First however, a word or two about the media group toolbox available to you when logged in.

Media group tools

There’s a great slide-show tutorial at the Luna Imaging website on what these tools can do for you. I recommend following that link, but also want to demonstrate media group tools using Folger content.

Here’s what the toolset looks like once you’ve opened up one of your media groups (click for a bigger view): 

media group tools available when logged in
media group tools available when logged in

A bunch of those choices are pretty self-explanatory, but let’s talk about just a few of them.

Manage Group: copying or moving items between your groups.  OK, so I took my own advice from the last tooltip and while browsing around in the database dropped over forty almost-related images into what has now become a very crowded media group. My task at this point therefore will be sorting and sifting.

I’m going to use one of the “Manage group” tools: the “Move to” tool, which will let me put the items I really want to work with into another media group. I could of course select everything irrelevant and choose “remove,” but I’m not all that keen on undoing the work I did to find them in the first place! Pack rat that I am, I figure if I leave stuff here it’ll be waiting for me when / if I need them in future. For this reason I’m more of a fan of the “Copy to” and “Move to” tools.

Anyway, here’s what the toolset looks like once you’ve selected “Manage Group:”

"manage media group" tools
“manage media group” tools

I’ve gone ahead and created myself an empty “pen and paper” media group to accept the items I want to move over, so now’s the time to choose it from the drop-down:

select another of your groups to copy or move files into
select another of your groups to copy or move files into

After which it’s a pretty straightforward task to highlight some items and click “Move to:”

select multiple items to copy or move into another group
select multiple items to copy or move into another group

Don’t miss the cheerful “Media successfully moved!” confirmation message!

Add external media: You can also populate your media groups with images added from flickr. This option is useful for those of us taking advantage of the Reading Room Camera Use Policy to take our own photos of Folger collection material. And the software permits adding photos taken by others as well, e.g. from the Folger reading room group called Folger Collection by Folger Readers. So for instance, the Chemical Heritage Foundation has an active Flickr photostream, including a number of sets made of of images from their rare collections on the history of chemistry and related sciences. I ran across three great volvelles from seventeenth century works by Athanasius Kircher in their collection. So I ran the flickr search from within by mousing over “Explore,” clicking on “External media search,” and then typing “volvelle” into the keyword search box:

add flickr images to an active media group
add flickr images to an active media group

I then dropped the ones I wanted into my Volvelles and other moveables media group using the “add to my active media group” widget in the upper right of the search results thumbnail (see the hovering manicule in the screenshot above).

Exporting: You can save any image from its detailed view — there’s always an “Export” button available on those pages.  And from inside a media group you can also export images using an “Export” button. A word of caution though: in these cases you’ll end up with images only, no descriptions. ((It’s a frustrating experience familiar to all of us I’m sure: having a great image on hand and few clues as to where it came from. Here’s a tip: the six-digit filename of any image saved from Folger digital image databases is what we refer to as an “Image Root File (PDI)” — do an advanced search on the filename under that field and you’ll get back to the source.))

Luna has a native presentation tool that will be covered in future tooltips but for better or worse most of us are powerpoint or keynote users. The feature to “Export to PowerPoint” is therefore a great one as it pops all of your media group contents one at a time into slides … and gives you the metadata as well! This is a far preferable approach to laboriously exporting each image one at a time … and then manually keeping track of which image is which.

Click the “Export to PowerPoint button” with a media group open and you’ll get an on-screen prompt “This will take some time, stay on this page as we create your PowerPoint export.” Once downloaded, you’ll have one ppt slide per image — scroll down inside each slide for the image description:

media group exported to powerpoint
media group exported to powerpoint

We’ve got more on wrangling media groups to come in future posts, but I hope these tips will help you in your own ongoing picture research, and in extending the usefulness of the searches you do in our digital image databases!

Cheers, and more soon.

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