Contributing Content to Historic Pittsburgh

We’re glad that you want to contribute visual images to the Historic Pittsburgh site ( What follows below are directions for our contributing partners to get started and make this process as smooth as possible. If you're not a partner, and would like to become one, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you!


Step 1. Introduction and Setup

Please send an email to this distribution list to alert Pitt that you want to contribute: This list comprises members from the Pitt Archives, Digital Scholarship Services, and System Development. We will acknowledge your email and welcome your contributions.

All subsequent communications with Pitt should be handled via this email address so that multiple people at Pitt are in the loop. Please do not send email directly to individuals, but use the list. We also need to know who is the primary contact person at your institution and have his/her email.


Step 2. New Contributor

If you are a brand new contributor, then Pitt will need your institutional logo (220 pixels x 220 pixels) and a brief 2-4 sentences about your organization to appear on the HP Partner page ( We also need to know your official name (i.e., how you want to be referred to on the site).


Step 3. Preparation of Content

Prepare your digital image batch. Please use the email list to consult with the Pitt team who will guide you in the image and metadata specifications. NOTE: for current HP partners there is a slight change to metadata being gathered so please check in with us! For example, the spreadsheet you send will ONLY describe the current batch of images you deliver each time, and NOT your entire collection that is represented on the site.

A batch should consist of no more than 100 images. If you have more than 100, then please just split them up into multiple batches. A batch cannot exceed 2 GB.

Coming Soon: Online documentation for image and metadata specifications. Until then, please email for the information.


Step 4. Batch Delivery

When your batch is ready (images and metadata), then you will deliver that content to Pitt via Box. We will create a folder in Box and invite you to join. Your top-level folder will be your institution name, so for example HeinzHistoryCenter (no spaces).

Then you will create a folder titled by the name of the collection and date being delivered. Again using the History Center as an example, you will create Alcoa-2017.02.08. If you deliver more than one batch, just assign a different date, or if it’s on the same day, then add “a” or “b” to the end of the date.

Likewise, you can deliver image to more than one collection. Just be sure to tell us so that we can create the right folder(s) in Box. Your spreadsheet MUST only relate to those images.


Step 5. Copying Files

Within that new folder, you should copy the following items:

  1. Content (image) files which can be zipped and copied to the folder if you prefer.
  2. Spreadsheet for ONLY the images in the batch.

If these images are being ADDED to an existing image collection which is already online, then please check the Description about the online collection and send any updates to the email list (

If this is a NEW image collection, then please follow these additional steps:

  1. Select a suitable image to use to represent the collection homepage. It’s best to select a landscape image. Pitt will size it accordingly (250 pixels x 860 pixels roughly), but be sure to tell us what in the image you want to capture. Copy that image into the folder, and include “banner” in the filename.
  2. We will also use a portion of this image to create the collection thumbnail which is used for collection search results and browsing collections (see for example).
  3. Write the Description that accompanies each image collection which includes What’s online, What’s in the entire collection, and About the collection (see this collection page as an example: Save it as either a Word or text file.


Step 6. Content Ingest and Review

Once you copied all of this to Box, then please send an email to the email list ( letting us know that the batch is ready to process. We will then review the metadata and let you know how it looks before ingest (there may be some back and forth with us on this to get it right).

Then Pitt will ingest the images/metadata and we will then send you a link to your collection. You can then review and hopefully everything looks right, but we know this is not always the case, so please follow up with us on things you need to change or correct. We may ask you to resubmit your entire spreadsheet, or we may be able to correct it directly on our end, or some combination of the two.


Step 7. Announce Release

Once the images appear online, Pitt will add an announcement about them on the site’s homepage. Please send a very brief announcement that we can include here:


Step 8. Start Again!

Select more images and repeat!