A Reference Item contains reference information about a person, place, or thing. The amount of information contained in a Reference Item is not always as important as the relationships between the Reference Item and other items in the Archive. In many cases, a Reference Item serves as “glue” that binds other items together. As such, a Reference Item with very little content plays a key role in “connecting the dots” between related items.

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Good to Know

  • Some Reference Items have a PDF attachment in addition to the item’s metadata. Other Reference Items have only metadata.
  • A Reference Item is about a specific subject like a person or business. Other items like images, documents and maps are associated with Reference Items through relationships.
  • It is often the case that there are many photographs of a specific item like a person, house, or vessel, but little information about the item itself. By creating a Reference Item for that entity and establishing relationships between it and its photographs, all the photographs become implicitly related to each other. When you view one, you see all the others because the Reference Item has “glued” them together.

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