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Digitial Initiatives: Metadata

Metadata is "data about data."

* JSIC.  An introduction to metadata.  Retrieved from

National Information Standards Organization. (2004). Understanding metadata. Bethesda, MD: NISO Press. Retrieved from

Types of Metadata

What kind of metadata do we want to use?

There are different types of metadata:

  • Descriptive
  • Administrative
  • Structural
  • Technical
  • Rights
  • Preservation

But there are also different metadata standards in use for different kinds of objects and purposes.

  • Dublin Core - extensible, widely adopted, aids metadata sharing
  • MODS - robust, handles a variety of content types
  • EAD - provides hierarchical arrangement in finding aids

We can even re-use metadata from one standard and re-purpose it with another standard.  Sometimes it can work well, e.g. MODS->DC; sometimes it doesn't, DC->MODS.

Crosswalks & Mapping

Crosswalks aid in making decisions about how to re-purpose metadata between different standards.

The Getty's Metadata Standards Crosswalk - includes a wide variety of metadata standards

MODS Conversions - mappings and XSLT stylesheets to and from MODS to other standards, including Dublin Core and MARC

Articles, Presentations, & Case Studies

Baca, M. (Ed.). (2008). Introduction to Metadata. (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Getty Publications. Retrieved from

* Lopatin, L. (2010). Metadata practices in academic and non-academic libraries for digital projects: A survey. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 48(8), 716-742.

- PDF saved in P:\Annamarie Klose\Literature_Review\Literature_Metadata

Otto, J.J.  (2014). Administrative metadata for long-term preservation and management of resources: A survey of current practices in ARL libraries. Rutgers University Community Repository