School of Information Management & Systems. Spring 2004.
245 Organization of Information in Collections. M. Buckland.

Assignment 8: Organize an Unusual Collection.
Deadlines: A: March 17 or ASAP; B: Mar 29; C & D: Completion: April 5.

Create an online database of representations of unusual objects. The objective is to obtain first-hand experience in designing a datastructure, assigning metadata values, designing standardized queries, preparing documentation, and writing a user's manual. Use Microsoft Access.

Choose a collection of phenomena to be described: things, persons, events, ideas,... but not texts or publications. Fifteen or twenty items. Past examples include: My son Timmy's stuffed animals; Places I like to hang out; My relatives; The contents of my frig; Contents of my aunts apartment in Cairo; Medieval Irish heroines; Campsites of Spanish explorers; Pens and pencils; Vacation photos; Wines; Types of Yoga, etc. Past examples. Choice is subject to instructor's approval.

Design an object - attribute - value record structure and specify for each attribute (field) whether the value can be duplicated in multiple records and the default sort (filing) order. Minimum requirements: An ID field as unique numerical identifier; a personal name field, a date field, a binary (Yes/No) field, and a field for narrative text (description, explanation, note). One or more fields should be suitable for a controlled vocabulary (thesaurus).

8A: An explanation of the data structure and a sample Record is due March 17 or ASAP.

8B: Create and use a single Table. (Use of two or more tables is acceptable but not required.)
Printout of table(s) is due March 29.

8C: Create three queries using Design Query. Create a concise User's Manual that includes sufficient instructions for a do-it-yourself demo that illustrates the richness of your data, the power of the query language, and your own ingenuity in the design of an easy-to-use, user-friendly system. The demo should include three worked examples using the three queries that you have created and the creation of a new search using design query. Assume that users will be familiar only with basic word-processing and web-surfing and that the Access Help screens and wizards are not working. Manual and copy of the database due April 5.

8D: [Optional] Sketch a web page interface to the database. (Building a working interface is not required.) Due April 5.