An issue that has emerged among art historians working on Itinera is that the nuances of the historical narrative are lost in the metadata. Information you would like to highlight should be input into fields that display public-facing. Inputting primary material into a field that presents the information to the public contains the material you want to highlight, while inputting that material in the fields can save that work for later or for a future manager working with new evidence or visualizations.

When amending or adding agent data, workflow guidelines still apply. The guidelines governing agent gender notes, life date notes, life role notes, cultural context notes, authority/vocabulary notes, and more notes fields as they are added remain the same.

Decisions on narrative voice and tone will depend on the manager. Because this is a subjective enterprise, voice, tone, sentence and paragraph structure, writerly conventions are decisions made by the interpreter. Consistency in these categories across fields is important.

General Notes

Agent: Highlight your preferred information under “General Notes.” For the agent, this information can be personal and appropriate for that particular person (or object).


Tour Case Study: AG16051001_mn, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; this case study by no means suggests a preferred structure, but is intended to provide an example of information the agent creator highlighted in the attempt to capture historical, narrative, and characteristic nuances.

This is a factual overview of Montagu’s Turkish tour:

With her husband and ambassador Edward Wortley Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu set out to Turkey from Westminster, England by way of the Netherlands, Austria, and Serbia from August of 1716 to November 1718.

This is historical context suggesting the motivations behind the tour:

At that time, Turkey was at war with the Venetian Republic, whereby Mr. Montagu was assigned to mediate on behalf of England an agreement with Austria, in the attempt to prevent Austria from engaging with the Spanish power in the Mediterranean.

This is personal information relating to the agent that highlights Montagu’s characteristic idiosyncrasies that highlight her individuality, feminisms, indirect characterizations, and intellectual prowess. The inclusion and formulation of this information is wholly at the will of the historian:

During this time, Lady Montagu entertained at court while studying Arabic and reading Arabic poetry. Toward the end of their tour, her husband inevitably failed at establishing a truce with Austria, his position was usurped by a competitor, and he failed to ascend to a political post of any import. Shortly after they separated. Lady Montagu turned her sights to Italy for almost the rest of her life, keeping up with her studies and correspondence with her stately and artistic friends abroad. She died in 1962, reviled and adored across Europe and the Near East.