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Metadata Encoding Standards

Table of Content

Metadata Structure Frameworks

  • DC = Dublin Core Metadata Elements Set
    A simple set of metadata elements intended to facilitate discovery of electronic resources.
    <>  (accessed October 4, 2013)
  • CDWA (or CDWA Lite) = Categories for the Description of Works of Art
    A conceptual framework for describing and accessing information about works of art, architecture, other material culture, groups and collections of works, and related images. Includes 512 categories and subcategories.
    <>  (accessed October 4, 2013)
  • EAD (Encoded Archival Description)
    Used by to represent an inventory of holdings of archives. EAD includes descriptive metadata, metadata about the owning archive and the provenance of the material being described, in addition to the structural finding aid.
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)

  • VRA Core = Visual Resource Association Core
    A standard set of elements, with optional qualifiers, used to structure descriptive records and facilitate information sharing, intended for use in describing &quot;works of visual culture,&quot; as we;; as the images that document them. Commonly used by the cultural heritage community.
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
  • IEEE-LOM = Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)- Learning Object Metadata (IEEE)
    IEEE standard 1484.12.1 -2002, a set of data elements used to structure descriptive records and facilitate information sharing among learning communities. Intended for use in describing learning objects, online learning or instructional materials which have been created by a variety of learning software products, such as learning management systems, presentation software or complex authoring software. Developed in the late 1990s.
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
  • MODS: Metadata Object Description Schema (Library of Congress)
    A standard set of elements or labels to structure descriptive records in XML (eXtensible Markup Language). Intended to be able to carry selected data from existing MARC 21 records, as well as to enable to creation of original descriptive records. It includes a subset of MARC 21 bibliographic fields and uses language-based tags rather than numeric ones, in some cases regrouping elements from the
  • MARC 21 bibliographic format
    Defined as an XML schema ( of the World Wide Web Consortium )
  • MPEG-7, formally known as Multimedia Content Description Interface or ISO 15938 (Motion Picture Experts Group)
    A set of standardized tools to describe multimedia resources, including still images, moving images, audio, etc. Includes textual and nontextual indexing and description. Defined as an XML schema ( of the World Wide Web Consortium ( Expressed in XML (eXtensible Markup Language). Originally released in late 2001.
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Content data Structure Frameworks

  • TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)
    A standard for the representation of texts in digital form. Used by humanists to encode literary texts, librarians to encode newspapers and manuscripts.
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
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Content Entry Standards

  • AACR2 = Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Rev. 2
    Rules for describing library materials in a structure way. Used by most libraries in creating records for their catalogs (subscription-based) .
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
  • AMIM II = Archival Moving Image Materials (Library of Congress)
    Archival Moving Image Materials: a Cataloging Manual, 2nd ed. (Library of Congress, 2000)
    Rules for describing archival moving image materials, Intended to provide guidance within the general framework of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition (AACR2).
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
    (updates: )
  • DACS = Describing Archives: a content standard Chicago : Society of American Archivists, c2004. ISBN: 1931666083 (a copy can be found in the College Archives and in Cataloging, Burke Library, Catalog Record)
    <> (accessed October 3, 2013)

    CCO = Cataloging Cultural Objects
    Cataloging cultural objects : a guide to describing cultural works and their images / Murtha Baca (Chicago, ALA, 2006, 396 p.
    Guidelines for selecting, ordering, and formatting data used to populate catalog records of cultural heritage objects. (a paper copy can be found in Technical Services, Burke Library)
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
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Standard Vocabularies

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Subject Headings

  • LCSH = Library of Congress Subject Headings
    A comprehensive controlled vocabulary (established list of preferred terms, often with cross references), primarily of topical subjects, with cross references, broader terms, narrower terms, and scope notes. LCSH is used by thousands of institutions to describe and index the content or subject of library and archival material. Developed for print material but also used for moving images. Part of the Library of Congress Authorities.
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  • AAT = The Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online (Getty)
    A thesaurus, or hierarchical, list of preferred terms with cross references, of topical subject terms, forms, genres, occupations and function terms relating to art, architecture, and material culture. The AAT organizes information into seven facets: associated concepts, physical attributes, styles and periods, agents, activities, materials, and objects. It is much more detailed that LC's Thesaurus for Graphic Materials, but TGM is considered by some more practical because it is smaller and populated with terms by LC as terms were needed. Consists of more than 133,000 terms.
  • GNIS = USGS Geographic Names Information System
    A list of almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States.
  • TGM = Thesaurus for Graphic Materials
    A tool for indexing visual materials by subject and genre/format. The thesaurus includes more than 7,000 subject terms to index topic shown or reflected in pictures, and 650 genre/format terms to index types of photographs, prints, design drawings, ephemera and other categories. New terms are added regularly.&nbsp; TGM is searchable through the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC). [Note: As of October 2007, the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials I: Subject Terms (TGM I) and the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II: Genre and Physical Characteristic Terms (TGM II) were merged into a single vocabulary, the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials.]
    Search Page:
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Name Authority Lists

  • LCNAF = Library of Congress Name Authority Headings
    A comprehensive controlled vocabularly (established list of preferred terms, often with cross references), primarily of names and jurisdictions, used by thousands of institutions to describe and index persons or bodies who are the subject, or are responsible for the intellectual content of, library and archival material. Part of the Library of Congress Authorities 5.3 million name authority records (ca. 3.8 million personal, 900,000 corporate, 120,000 meeting, and 90,000 geographic names) (As of Sept. 2004)
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
  • TGN = The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online
    The TGN is a structured, world-coverage vocabulary of 1.3 million names, including vernacular and historical names, coordinates, and place types, and descriptive notes, focusing on places important for the study of art add architecture.
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
  • ULAN = Union List of Artist Names (Getty)
    A structured vocabulary of over 250,000 names and other information about artists. Coverage is from Antiquity to the present, and the geographical scope is global. Updated monthly.&nbsp; ULAN typically has more variant names and better biographical information than the Library of Congress's Name Authority File.
    <> (accessed October 4, 2013)
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Dublin Core (Dublin Core Metadata Initiative)

Dublin Core is a standard set of 15 elements (title, creator, subject, etc.), with optional qualifiers and community-specific extensions. All elements are optional and repeatable within an application profile used to structure data elements into records customized for specific audiences. Dublin Core is used to structure descriptive information about a resource but also to map readily to other descriptive schema, to facilitate sharing information across different metadata schemas and user communities. First developed in the mid-1990s, and originally intended for use in describing web sites and web pages, Dublin Core is now used also for describing physical and digital collections in museums, libraries, archives and other repositories.

Preservation Metadata Standards

Technical Metadata

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(Reviewed: September 27, 2013)