In a comment to my earlier post, Les Richardson commented:
However, you are now moving into a digital world... how are you going to integrate your film archive along with digital capture? Are you going to add metadata (even simple stuff) about your film collection? Do you have a unique number (or key) to identify each image? ... How are you going to avoid being drowned in data?I felt these questions warranted their own response. Slightly delayed due to effort of editing a backlog and actually having to go to the office for a couple of days.
Integrating the film archive with the digital is a tricky business. I've got a numbering system for my electronic files which specifically distinguishes between the two, in that i note the roll & type of film used. However, the way the files stack up is the same. The tricky part is the film archive also has a physical counterpart, which digital does not. Maybe one day we'll all be converting our digital files to transparencies.
I'm not adding metadata for two reasons. One is I'm lazy and that seems like effort. The other is that all I'm really interested in is the what and when and that is all wrapped up in the filename I use. Plus, there is so much I've forgotten about the cluttered mass that is my film collection that metadata would be a pointless task.
If you hover over any of my web images you'll see my numbering system buried in the filename. I've had to tweak it slightly recently but essentially each frame is uniquely identified which makes it easy to search and cross-reference. Plus, by archiving my final work by shooting location I can easily track the where to the when and all related images. That returns maximum data usefulness for minimum effort, at least for me. My biggest headache is if something comes along that requires a change in naming convention: do I continue from that point or go back and rename the whole lot? I've not quite nailed that one yet.
As someone who deals with masses of data on a daily basis, I'm sure I could deal with more but I have also learnt the value of boiling down data collection to the bare essentials.