Where Do We Need to Go From Here?



Introducing lameta

lameta is a new tool for preparing data for archiving. It allows you to enter and edit metadata, link metadata records to resource files, keep track of your data management work, and export data sets for upload to an archive.

lameta is available for Windows and Mac and can be downloaded via this link.

lameta - the metadata editor for transparent archivinglameta greatly simplifies management of collections and makes the archiving process straightforward and painless for field workers.

As a result of discussion at the 2016 LD Tools and Methods Summit in Melbourne, a group of participants arranged to draw up specifications for development of a metadata entry tool. The development of lameta was funded by the NSFELDP and CoEDL. The project is led by Gary Holton (University of Hawaii Manoa), Nick Thieberger (University of Melbourne), and Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS). lameta was developed by John Hatton, and is open source.

In this week’s blog post we will introduce you to some of lameta’s features.


For every new Project, you will need to enter some basic information (such as the language documented, the depositor’s name, etc.), and choose an Access Protocol. This will let you set the correct access for your collections once you deposit them.

lameta access protocol interface


Before entering any Sessions, you need to add the People who contributed to your collection.

For every new person, you can add information about the languages they speak, which of these is their mother’s and father’s primary language, and some biographical details. You can also add a picture and their written or recorded Consent. You will have to rename the consent file for lameta to recognise it. On the left hand-side all the people in your project are listed, indicating whether or not you have added a consent file for them.


A Session in lameta corresponds to a bundle in your ELAR collection. Bundles are made up of files that are related to each other. Depending on the way you organise your collection, a bundle may correspond to a recording session, or a recording session may result in a number of bundles. You can add as many files as you see fit to a session.

For example, a bundle might consist of

  • a video file
  • an audio file that was extracted from a video file
  • an audio file that was recording in parallel to the video recording
  • an annotation file
  • scans of handwritten notes about this recording
  • photographs taken when this video recording was made
metadata for a session in lameta
This is what the metadata for a session might look like.

For every session, you need to enter an ID (this will depend on your file naming conventions) and a Title. Make sure to choose a title that is informative, and enter a rich Description that helps users of the archive understand your materials and allows them to decide if they want to explore them further. 

In order to make your deposit easy to navigate and search, you will need to specify a Genre, Topic and Keyword for each session. lameta will automatically add your project’s Working Language and Content Language to a new session. If other languages were used in a session, you can add them to the appropriate field.

For every session you need to specify the Access, and if access is set to S, the reason for restricting the access needs to be added.

Contributors tab in lametaIn the Contributors tab, you can add everyone who was present during the session, and their role. Don’t forget to add bystanders, and yourself as the researcher! People who were not present during the recording but helped transcribe or translate should also be added.

status options in lametaThe Status tab helps you to keep an overview of your sessions. How exactly you define the different status options is up to you. The status of each session is displayed on the left hand-side. This allows you to work on multiple sessions at once without getting confused about which ones are ready to be exported.

After adding files to a session, you may wish to add metadata about those files. In order to add information about the recording conditions and the equipment, you need to add “RecordingConditions” and “RecordingEquipment” as a Custom Field with exactly these upper case letters and no blank spaces. Then add your information in the cell under Value.

Exporting Metadata

You can either export all your sessions at once or individually. Choose the IMDI + Files option to get the packages you need for depositing with ELAR.

Please note that lameta is still in beta, and we welcome feedback about the tool!

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