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PBCore Cataloging Tool Development Contractor

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Created: August 7, 2017


PBCore Cataloging Tool Development RFP

WGBH Educational Foundation

August 1, 2017

I. Project Overview

WGBH is seeking a qualified developer or development team (“the Contractor”) to create a Ruby-based web application tool for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s PBCore Development and Training Project. 

The goal of the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded PBCore Development and Training Project is to develop tools, methodologies, workflows and training to enhance and extend the adoption of the Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary (“PBCore”), a metadata schema for the management of audio and audiovisual collections.

PBCore can be used as:

  • A guideline for cataloging or describing audiovisual content (as a content standard)
  • A model for building custom databases/applications
  • A guideline for identifying a set of vocabularies for fields describing av assets
  • A data model for a configurable collection management system (Omeka, Collective Access, etc.)
  • A guideline for creating inventory spreadsheets
  • An exchange (import or export) mechanism between applications 

PBCore records can easily be shared, allowing information about media assets and collections to be exchanged between organizations and media systems.

Public Broadcasting in the United States developed PBCore so producers and local stations can better share, manage and preserve the media they produce. Because it is so useful in describing media assets, a growing number of film archives and media organizations outside of public broadcasting have adopted PBCore to manage their audiovisual assets and collections. PBCore is used by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting as an exchange format and data model for metadata about public broadcasting collections.

As part of the NEH project, WGBH seeks to create an open-source graphical user interface (“GUI”) cataloging tool. We envision the tool as a simple GUI built in Ruby. The tool will have a function that allows for creation, editing, import and export of PBCoreXML 2.1 documents (and CSVs formatted in accordance with a PBCore data model), which are then stored externally to the app. The tool will also allow for search and discovery of the stored XML documents. The tool should be easy to implement and use by novice and experienced PBCore users.

II. Project Activities

a. Process overview

i.               WGBH will provide contractor with background materials and preliminary requirements for the app development, including information about the metadata structure of PBCore, existing PBCore tools, and the prototype Filemaker-based tool.

ii.              Contractor will create a work plan and more detailed proposal for the product based on the background materials.

iii.            The work plan and detailed proposal will be discussed and approved in a meeting with WGBH staff, launching a six-month development phase.

iv.            Over the course of the development phase, contractor will perform weekly code review with WGBH in-house developers to assure that WGBH development staff are comfortable and familiar with the tool.

v.              Contractor will hold bi-weekly update meetings with WGBH project staff to demo development and discuss direction of the project. 

vi.            After the six-month development phase, WGBH staff will demo tool with Test User group for review and feedback.

vii.           WGBH will share feedback with contractor and jointly determine a proposal for a further three months of development based on user feedback and feasibility.

viii.         After the second development phase, all code and documentation will be turned over to WGBH for release under an MIT Open Source license.  

b. Project Requirements/Desired Features


  1. User can easily install the tool.
  2. User can easily create a new PBCore XML document.
  3. User can add any PBCore XML attribute or element that is allowed to an existing document.
  4. User can see definitions of each element incorporated into the tool.
  5. User can see options for elements or attributes to add to an existing document.
  6. User can import pre-existing batch or single PBCore XML.
  7. User can export batch or single PBCore XML.
  8. User can import PBCore-compliant CSV.
  9. User can export PBCore-compliant CSV.
  10. User can view created XML documents.
  11. User can conduct a keyword search across fields in XML documents.
  12. User can perform a complex search based on values of two elements or more.
  13. User can edit pre-existing records.
  14. User can see PBCore controlled vocabularies as drop-down options for elements and attributes.
  15. User is notified when PBCore document is invalid.
  16. User can batch add a value in a specific element or attribute to all records in a found set.

III. Proposed Timeline 

We expect preliminary planning to be completed by October 15th, 2017, though this timeline may be extended depending on the length of the hiring process for the contractor. The primary development phase should be completed by March 30th, 2018. User testing will be conducted in April 2018, and the final product should be delivered by July 2018.

IV. Application Process

When selecting an developer or development team for this project, we will be evaluating candidates on the following criteria:

Required experience

  • Previous experience creating applications in Ruby or similar programming language
  • Familiarity with XML creation and editing 

Preferred experience

  • Experience with XML-based metadata standards such as PBCore, Dublin Core, VRA Core
  • Experience in developing applications for cultural heritage organizations

Proposals should consist of a letter of interest, not to exceed 4 pages, including contact information, summary of qualifications, a fairly detailed quote of time, workscope, and a fixed price quote.

Eligibility for the contract is restricted to U.S. citizens or people with valid visas. Activities may be performed remotely.

Proposals should be submitted by August 30th to Rebecca Fraimow at rebecca_fraimow@wgbh.org. Finalists will be notified of their status by September 15th.

How to apply


Proposals should be submitted by August 30th to Rebecca Fraimow at rebecca_fraimow@wgbh.org

applic Programming XML Ruby development Developer Cataloging PBCore


Published: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 01:37 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 01:37 UTC