Sunday, April 2, 2023

Announcing the Parkendium Public Archive

The time has come to unveil the first version of the Parkendium public archive, a digital Disneyland collection.

Starting small with just 65,000 digital assets from the 1950s to the present.

Learn more in this blog post.

What will you find on Parkendium right now?

36,000 of my photos.

3,600 photos from the incredible collection of Patrick Jenkins, including fantastic 1950s/1960s signage documentation.

The entirety of Stuff from the Park and Gorillas Don't Blog thru 2021—indexed.

And more!

My first highly recommended top tip is to first click "Request Access" at upper right so I can create a free account for you.

You don't have to do this, but if you do you will be able to see more metadata and search directly on the keywords (which is the core of findability).

When you visit, you'll see two links: the Parkendium Public Archive (where all the digital assets are) and Documentation.

The only document currently in Documentation is the start of a chronology of updates to the site.

I need your feedback regarding what's unclear to you!

The Help button at upper right is generic to the hosting service (MediaGraph), but could assist you in navigating Parkendium.

To understand how to find digital assets on Parkendium, it's important to understand my keywording process.

Most of them are photographs, and my subject indexing has been focused on these.

These are the core categories I try to apply to each photo as a base. Let's look at each.

 The first thing I do is to assign a date, which is often approximate for the vintage shots.

The "created date" needs a date certain, but I address uncertainty through keywords:

1950s (unspecified)
1955 (unspecified)
1955-08 (unspecified)

can all be valid.

Next, I keyword whether an asset is a photograph and, if so, whether it's color or black and white.

That distinction is less significant now than in Disneyland's early years, but trust me when I tell you it comes in handy.

 Another basic keyword category for photographs is to determine whether a photograph is an exterior view or an interior view.

 The next keyword category is the time of day. (For exterior views; interior views are keyworded as "notimeofday" as it's not relevant.)

The primary distinction is daytime or nighttime, but I sometimes use morning, sunset, dusk, or crow o'clock as appropriate.

Next up is whether a photograph fits in "environmental photos" or "photographic portraits."

Environmental can contain people, but the focus is more on the setting.

Portraits are focused on people (though still may contain interesting details in the background!). 

The perspective keyword category is assigned for unique viewpoints.

Want to see "photographs from Skyway"? There are 987 of them currently in the Parkendium public archive.

What about "photographs from Frontierland rivercraft"? 2,263 photographs.

 Now we get into the fun stuff! Does the photograph show any construction? I lump in destruction.

Sometimes I create specific keywords for significant projects ("1959 expansion construction") and other times use something generic ("Disneyland Park construction (unspecified)").

This next keyword category won't surprise you: does the photograph show or document a sign?

Aside from my own obsession, the Parkendium public archive includes vintage Sign Shop documentation photos collected by Patrick Jenkins—many never before on the Internet.

The last essential keyword category is a land association. This doesn't mean a photograph was necessarily taken in the land. For example, an exhibit in the Opera House about the Haunted Mansion would get keywords for "Main Street U.S.A." and "New Orleans Square."

Many photographs go beyond these keyword categories, to include attractions, restaurants, and stores, or Park characters, or events.

But these categories are a baseline that can then help me more efficiently assign additional keywords.

With these keyword categories applied, we can start to discover assets by combining them.

For example, we can search for color 1950s photographs from Frontierland rivercraft showing construction by combining the appropriate keywords.

If you create a free account by requesting access at upper right, when logged in you'll see a Tag Tree in the left panel.

This is where you can discover the keyword hierarchy of all keywords applied in the Parkendium public archive.

 One other tip is to change the sort order through the arrows at upper right.

It will default to most recent upload first, which I rarely find helpful. Sorting by capture time (oldest or newest first depending on what you're looking for) or name of file can be better.

Big thanks to Peter Krogh for reaching out and MediaGraph for hosting this implementation of the Parkendium public archive!