Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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