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ICO Cataloger/Photocat is a web-based application that allows descriptive metadata entry for items managed by the IU Libraries' fedora preservation repository. Once a collection has been made "live" through the ICO Portal, catalogers and administrators of collections in ICO Cataloger also control when content is published to the Web.   


  • Collection - Groups of materials in ICO Cataloger are grouped into "collections". A collection is a group of materials for which one particular set of metadata is collected. Typically all items in a collection are the same type of materials.
  • quick search form - Once a collection has been selected, there is a search form at the top right-hand corner of the pages that allows searching of the records in that collection. This form will be referred to in this documentation as the "quick search form".
  • navigation menu - Once a collection has been selected, links to "Search", "Browse", "Vocabulary Sources" and "Batches" appear in a gray bar. This is referred to as the navigation menu.
  • search results page - An array of thumbnail images (possibly with identifiers and a title) is presented as the results of a search or browse operation. Controls to page through these results as well as a search form are presented as well.


There are two levels of permissions for ICO Cataloger/Photocat users:  Administrator and Cataloger.


Contact Kara Alexander to add new admins or catalogers/remove former admins or catalogers.

Creating a Collection

Collections are created as the result of a consultation with IU Libraries staff from Digital Collections Services. Metadata fields are selected and digital materials are processed and used to populate the collection.


Logging In

Once a collection has been setup, you will be able to login to ICO Cataloger/Photocat: Login requires authorization so you'll automatically be redirected to IU's Central Authentication Service to which you'll supply your IU credentials before being granted access to that page. For users whose work centers around a single collection, the user may bookmark the collection home page and always use that as an entry point into the application. Other users may wish to simply start at the collection selection page.

Locating Records

Records may located and viewed using several means.

  • Search: Searching with no criteria entered will result in a listing of all records in the system sorted by identifier. This may be the easiest way to discover records before metadata has been entered. There is a convenient link on the collection home page to perform this action, but at any time a user may also click the "search" button on the quick-search form having entered no search terms.
  • Browsing by Field Value: clicking on the "browse" link in the navigation menu will allow you to select fields and navigate to records that have particular values in those fields. For example, clicking on "browse" then "title" will present a table listing all titles entered. For each title you can follow a link to "view records" which will take you to a search results page exposing access to all the records with the given title.

Editing Records

Clicking on the identifier or thumbnail image in the search results page will take you to a page that allows the metadata for that item to be entered or modified. You can also replace images for any given record. At the top of the page, the identifier is displayed.


Multiple people can catalog items in the same collection at the same time as long as they do not alter the same record. A record can only be edited by one person at a time. If multiple catalogers accidentally edit the same records, they will encounter an error when attempting to save.  

Item Preview

On the right side of the page there will be an item preview box containing a visual representation of the item whose metadata is currently being edited. If alternate views or formats are available links to access them will be presented in this preview box.  Administrators for a collection will have access to the digital master image.  




Deleting/Replacing Images

If you wish to replace an image already attached to a record, you must have administrative privileges for your collection.  To delete/replace an image, click on the "manage files" link in the Item Preview box.  You will be presented with an option to delete the existing image (click on link labeled "Delete").   Once the file has been deleted, you will be redirected to the "Edit View" of the record with an option to upload a new file.  

Adding Multiple Images per Record 

*If* your collection was setup to allow for the uploading of multiple images per record, you will be able to do this in the "manage files" section. Under the heading "Upload Images" you should see an option to upload additional image files.  ICO Cataloger currently does not allow for re-ordering of images.  If you would like the images to appear in some pre-defined order, you can do this manually by uploading last the images you want to appear first.  

Uploading Files

Files can take anywhere between two minutes to fifteen minutes to upload depending on the level of activity for all users of ICO Cataloger.  You will see a status message that reads: "File submitted at Oct 5, 2016, awaiting processing." You can continue to upload files and edit metadata, but you should check back at some point to make sure your file was indeed loaded.  



Record updates will fail if you are updating the same records as part of multiple batch operations. For example, you create a batch update to normalize a subject heading, and you create another batch update to normalize personal names. If a given record is part of both batches, and the batches are executed right after the other, you may encounter an error. When running multiple batch operations, especially across a large number of records, you should execute one batch update at a time.

Quality Control for Metadata


ICO Cataloger/Photocat provides a record status, "pending review," which facilitates metadata quality control at the record-level, especially if you employ a two-pronged approach to metadata creation:basic description followed by subject analysis. ICO Cataloger/Photocat also provides efficient ways to review data entry by browsing values entered by field. For example, it is not uncommon to catch typos or variant name entries that should be corrected or standardized. When needing to update more than one record, the batch functionality discussed above provides quick ways to update values:

  1. Initiate a "Batch replace/remove" for the incorrect term ("W. E. Wood Company," 8 records)
    1. In the Search and Replace screen, replace W. E. Wood Company with W. E. Wood Co.
    2. Click "Replace/Remove Values" 
      1. Right-top of screen you will see a status for batch "Operations." The % update will require a refresh to the "Browse" page in a few second to make sure all records were updated.  
      2. Once updated you should see a message (after you refresh the browser): "Items updated as part of search and replace operation." [with number of items in brackets]  
      3. Be paranoid every so often and browse by subject to make sure the batch update worked!
      4. Conduct one "batch replace" at a time or you may encounter an error in ICO Cataloger/Photocat
        1. Make sure all records have been updated  before initiating another batch update