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Compound Objects


Cheatsheet: 

Dashboard > Curation > Compound Objects


What's a Compound Object?

A Compound Object is an object that is made up of individual items. For example, let's say you have uploaded the page scans of a 10-page book. In the digital world, the computer sees each individual page as a separate item. But, in our world, we realize that those individual pages combined together make a singular object we call a book. 

Another way of thinking about information in databases or repositories is to think about how an item can be broken down into its constituent pieces. A book is made up of pages (well, that's not really true, but you get my point). A plant, generally, consists of a stem and leaves. Once we have itemized a "thing" into its parts and uploaded them into a database, we can then put those individual parts back together in any way we want. We can put them in one container or multiple containers. Let's say we want to create a contain called "leaves." We can query our database and say, "show us all the images of leaves you have stored." Or, you could say, "show me all the stems." Or show me all the stems of plants with yellow leaves. You get the picture. This is why we like to create granular information and items. 

But sometimes we will want to show individual items in an order according to the logic of our world. With a book of 10 numbered pages, we will probably want to "arrange" those pages in order from 1 to 10. We do this by creating a compound object. A Compound Object is one item made up of multiple other items in a specific order. 


How to Create a Compound Object by Hand

To create a Compound Object, you must first make sure that all the constituent parts of that object are ALREADY UPLOADED in Spotlight. 

Once you have verified that all parts are present, go to Dashboard > Curation > Compound Objects. 

On this page you will create the metadata for the Object AS A WHOLE. Once you have entered the appropriate metadata, you will add items/pages by entering the title of said item/page in the "Enter Title Here..." box. 

If you can, we recommend you enter item titles in order, but you can rearrange items if you need to. 

When you're finished, click the "Add Compound Object" button. 

Uploading Compound Objects 

If you have large or more than one compound objects, we recommend you speak with the Digital Scholarship Unit so that they can be uploaded en masse. 

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