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Metadata Dictionary & Best Practices

Metadata Dictionary & Best Practices

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Published by CAP History Library

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Published by: CAP History Library on May 17, 2014
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 New York Heritage Metadata Dictionary and Best Practices v.1, April 2012-AppB-2012-08. Supported by the  NY3Rs Association, Inc.
New York Heritage Metadata Dictionary And Best Practices
Table of Contents Page Number
The purpose of this style guide is to assist organizations participating in the New York Heritage (NY Heritage) digitization project as they create metadata for their digital items. It also serves to ensure consistency across the various collections in NY Heritage and will result in a better experience for users. Consistent and complete metadata also makes it more likely that end users will find digital items, especially when the data is integrated with other online digital collections. Use this dictionary to determine definitions, how, and where to enter metadata and to better understand what types of terms should be used.
Getting Started:
The use of the term “item”
The term “item” is used throughout the dictionary. An “item” can be a number of different things
 - including a photograph, a photo album (filled with many photographs), a journal, a diary, an account book, a published book, a recorded oral history, a chair, etc.
General Guidelines and Instructions:
When you submit an item to CONTENTdm, be sure that all “
Mandatory for Upload
” fields
are filled in. If they are not, CONTENTdm will block the submission. An item must have a unique title. The
 metadata field must be unique. For example if
there are four items with the title “Correspondence: Boston” additional information is needed
to make the title unique. For example: Correspondence: Boston 1; Correspondence: Boston 2; or Correspondence: Boston April 1860; Correspondence: Boston May 1860.
 NY Heritage Metadata Dictionary v.1, April 2012-AppB-2012-08
2 |
 New York Heritage Metadata Dictionary and Best Practices v.1, April 2012-AppB-2012-08. Supported by the  NY3Rs Association, Inc.
Be consistent in your use of the metadata fields. Do not use a metadata field for anything other than what it was intended. Cross-collection searching will not function properly if metadata fields are used inconsistently. Leave blank any metadata field for which there is no available data except for
Date of Original
. If you find that you have a need that is not met by the existing metadata fields, then contact your library council for assistance. Some metadata fields will let you enter multiple values, but you must separate them with a
space, semicolon, space
(e.g., “buildings
 ; automobiles
; animals”).
 is to not use carriage returns, tabs, or HTML tags in the metadata fields. If you have any questions as you prepare your metadata, please contact your library council for guidance.
 NY Heritage Metadata Dictionary v.1, April 2012-AppB-2012-08
3 |
 New York Heritage Metadata Dictionary and Best Practices v.1, April 2012-AppB-2012-08. Supported by the  NY3Rs Association, Inc.
Controlled Vocabulary:
A controlled vocabulary is a list of standardized terms. Employing a controlled vocabulary ensures consistency and improves the quality of search results. Use of the controlled vocabulary lists
 is to select terms from a controlled vocabulary. CONTENTdm allows you to import a controlled vocabulary, create a controlled vocabulary, or add terms to an existing controlled vocabulary. Ask your library council for help with this. If you are using more than one Subject controlled vocabulary, you will need to create more than one
metadata field in CONTENTdm. A controlled vocabulary list is provided for the
NY Heritage Topic, Physical Format,
metadata fields. You
 select a value from these lists. Do not add new terms to these controlled vocabularies. If you are need help selecting a term, contact your library council. When a controlled vocabulary list is provided for a metadata field in a drop down list, select a value from that list. If the term you want is not found in the drop-down controlled vocabulary list for a specific metadata field, check the complete listing for that controlled vocabulary to see if the term you want to use is there. The 
 contains URLs to the controlled vocabulary. If an appropriate term is found, add the new term to the record. This new term, once approved in CONTENTdm, will be added to your controlled vocabulary for that metadata field.
For example: the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM) from the Library of Congress is very useful for assigning both topical and form/genre subject terms to visual material. The TGM is one of the controlled vocabularies that come packaged with the CONTENTdm software but the CONTENTdm TGM list is not complete. You may need
to access the TGM source list to find other terms. TGM’s sourc
e list (a complete listing of all the TGM controlled vocabulary) can be found at:
http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/tgm1/toc.html If there is a term that will aid users in finding an item that it is not i
ncluded in the field’s
controlled vocabulary source, you may include it in the
 metadata field or in the
 field to ensure that a keyword search will find the item. A controlled vocabulary list that is unique to your collection can be created to speed up data entry and ensure consistency. You might find it useful to have a controlled vocabulary list for the following metadata fields:
Copyright Statement
Contact Information
, etc. (Please

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