Let your users tag your NY Heritage items

I just wrote a post on the New York Heritage blog about how you can tag images on the site. It was mainly directed at users/patrons, serving as a how-to, but it’s worth checking out if you’re not familiar with the idea of tagging.

CONTENTdm, the software that New York Heritage runs on, allows users to tag items and leave comments. I’ve been sending monthly statistics to each of our NYH participants, and starting next month, I will also be notifying you of any tags or comments left on your items. Let’s take a look at what’s been popular with our users:

Main St., west side, north of Chippewa St.

This photo is from the George Nathan Newman Collection of Photographs of Vanishing Buffalo, from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. It has 3 tags entered by users:


This provides more information about the image that wasn’t in the original metadata, such as the fact that it’s an example of Italianate architecture.

Here’s another one:

Dr. Sage’s Catarrh Remedy Bottle

This is from the Nickell Collection of Dr. R.V. Pierce Medical Artifacts, from the Center for Inquiry. Rather than a scanned image, it’s a photo of a physical item in the collection. Three comments were left:


Here, some users talk about coming across similar items themselves. This again adds richer information, and might encourage other users to post comments too.

So how can you make use of this?

  1. Encourage your users to post comments! Especially if you have any NYH items with comments already, maybe spotlight the discussion in your marketing or social media and ask users to join in and contribute.
  2. Encourage your users to add tags. Maybe start a tagging contest? When a user adds a tag, it asks for a name, which isn’t published but is visible on the back-end. So one possibility is seeing who can add the most tags (accurate ones, of course) to your collection within a certain timeframe. If they enter their email address as the name, the winner can later be contacted.

Are you already taking advantage of these New York Heritage features? Let us know!