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Quick-Start Metadata Guide

Introduction

If you're new to metadata or to the UNT Libraries (UNTL) system, this document gives a brief overview of the guidelines for records in the UNT Digital Collections. This introduction covers only the most basic information about formatting while the full guidelines give in-depth instructions and examples to cover any names, places, etc. that do not fit the general rules. To see the full guidelines, click here. Additionally, links within the overview connect to more specific portions of the guidelines.

Title

This field is required.

General Information

  • All items must have a "Main Title" although some items will have additional kinds of titles
  • Write out the title as it appears on the item or in accompanying information
  • If the item does not have a title, create a short, descriptive title in brackets
  • It is preferred that titles are more descriptive than just a proper name
  • Examples:

Book

Reminiscences of the Terry Rangers

 

Photograph

[Calf-Roping in Groups at Cowtown Coliseum]

 

Newspaper clipping

[Obituary for I. M. Cummings]

Additional Information

 

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Creator

 

This field is optional -- if the creator is unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • Only specific individuals or organizations should be included as creators
  • Include as many creators as you need to, in order of importance (or the order that they appear in on the item)
    • Only list persons or agencies once per record, even if they have multiple roles (a creator is not also listed as a contributor)
  • Personal names should be inverted (Last, First Middle)
    • Suffixes (Jr., Sr., etc.) can be added at the end but titles (Dr., Rev., Mr., etc.) should be left off except in special cases
  • Organization names should be written out as they appear
  • Hierarchical organizations and government agencies should be written from the highest level to the lowest
  • Examples:

Personal name

Blackburn, J. K. P.

 

Personal name requiring a title

Morris, Mrs. Harry Joseph

 

Personal name with a suffix

Roberts, Frank H. H., Jr.

 

Organization name

R. L. Polk & Co.

 

Government agency

Texas. Adjutant General's Office.

  • If you include a creator, you must choose a type (person or organization) and a role from the drop-down menus
  • Optionally, you can include alternate names or information about the creator that is directly related to the item in the "Information" text field

Additional Information

 

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Contributor

 

This field is optional -- if there are no contributors or the contributors are unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • Only specific individuals or organizations should be included as contributors
  • Include as many contributors as you need to, in order of importance (or the order that they appear in on the item)
    • Only list persons or agencies once per record, even if they have multiple roles (a contributor is not also listed as a creator)
  • Personal names should be inverted (Last, First Middle)
    • Suffixes (Jr., Sr., etc.) can be added at the end but titles (Dr., Rev., Mr., etc.) should be left off except in special cases
  • Organization names should be written out as they appear
  • Hierarchical organizations and government agencies should be written from the highest level to the lowest
  • Examples:

Personal name

Sonneck, Oscar George Theodore

 

Personal name requiring a title

Hastings, Mrs. F. S.

 

Personal name with a suffix

Roberts, Frank H. H., Jr.

 

Organization

Julius Bien & Co.

 

Government agency

United States. Navy. Training Division. Bureau of Aeronautics.

  • If you include a contributor, you must choose a type (person or organization) and a role from the drop-down menus
  • Optionally, you can include alternate names or information about the contributor that is directly related to the item in the "Information" text field

Additional Information

 

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Publisher

 

This field is optional -- if there is no publisher or the publisher is unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • You can include multiple publishers, but consider whether additional publishers should actually be contributors
  • Creators who are also publishers can be included in both fields
  • Individual names should not be inverted (First Middle Last)
  • Organization names should be written out as they appear
  • Hierarchical organizations and government agencies should be written from the highest level to the lowest
  • If the publisher is known but not listed on the item, put the name in [square brackets]
  • Examples:

Personal name

Roberta Wright Rylander

 

Organization

Lewis Publishing Company

 

Government agency

United States. Department of Agriculture.

 

Name with added information

[Houston] Chamber of Commerce

  • If known, include the location where the item was published (e.g., Austin, Texas)
  • Optionally, you can include alternate names or information about the publisher that is directly related to the item in the "Information" text field

Additional Information

 

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Date

 

This field is optional -- if the creation date is unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • Creation dates always refer to the exact object that was digitized
  • Dates use the form YYYY-MM-DD including a year and any additional parts that are known
  • A date range can be created by separating dates with a slash: YYYY-MM-DD/YYYY-MM-DD
  • If the date is questionable a question mark can be added to the end: YYYY-MM-DD?
  • Use a "u" to stand in for unknown digit(s): YYYu-MM
  • For "circa" dates, add a tilde at the end: YYYY-MM-DD~
  • To represent a single date within a series of dates or date ranges, use "one of a set":
    • Series of non-consecutive dates: [YYYY-MM-DD, YYYY, YYYY-MM]
    • Consecutive date range: [YYYY..YYYY]
    • After a known date: [YYYY-MM..]
  • Examples:

Basic date

1879-03-29

 

Date range

1941-12/1945-08

 

Date with only a decade known

189u

 

Approximate date

1865-05~

 

One of a set

[1975-08-07..1975-08-10]

 

"Before" a known date

[..1909]

Additional Information

  • If you want to see the full guidelines for dates, see the Date page
  • For more information about where to find creation date(s) on an object, see Where Can the Date Information be Found?
  • For formatting instruction for all types of dates, see General Date Rules
  • For additional guidelines regarding creation dates (including special instructions for postcards and items that are derivations), see Creation Dates
  • For information about other kinds of dates, see Special Dates
  • To see additional examples, see Other Examples
  • For a list of useful links for dates, see the Resources section

 

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Language

 

This field is required.

General Information

  • Choose the relevant language from the drop-down menu
  • If the item is in multiple languages include all that are relevant
  • If an image or object does not have any text in or around the image, use "no language"
  • Examples:

A book written in English

eng - English

 

A photograph with no written text or visible words in the image

nol - No Language

 

An opera in French and Italian

fre - French
ita - Italian

Additional Information

 

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Description: Content Description

 

This field is required.

General Information

  • Describe what the item is about using proper grammar and punctuation
  • Start the description with a statement of the item type (e.g., "Photograph of...")
  • Be descriptive about the object but only include details helpful for users
  • Short relevant statements about history can be made after a descriptive statement about the actual image or object
  • For names that are often abbreviated (organizations, schools, military installations, etc.), be sure to have the full name somewhere in the record
  • Examples:

Photograph from Cowtown Coliseum

Photograph of a cowboy riding a brown bull in an arena. A rodeo clown stands off to the right. Behind him, people watch from the other side of a red fence.

 

Postcard with text

Postcard of the Custom House building in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The back of the postcard includes a thank you note addressed to Capt. Elmer C. Croom from L. R. de la Peña.

 

Genealogy Newsletter

Quarterly publication containing genealogical information about families in East Texas including fifth generation charts, family histories, and lists of records (births, deaths, etc.).

Additional Information

 

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Description: Physical Description

 

This field is VERY strongly recommended.

General Information

  • Whenever possible, include a physical description using the format: extent : physical details ; dimensions

Note: leave out 'physical details' if they do not apply or are not readily available

  • Specify units for dimensions (cm., in., etc.) and always round up to the next full centimeter (the only exceptions are "standard sized" photographs and sound recordings)
  • Physical descriptions are based on item type:
Extent Physical Details Dimensions Example(s)
Books and printed text:

number of pages (# p.)


illustrated? (ill.)


height in cm.
30 p. ; 28 cm.

iv, 320 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Photographs and 'graphic' items:

number and kind of items

negative/positive?
color? (col. or b&w)


height x width in cm.*
1 postcard : col. ; 9 x 13 cm.

1 photograph : negative, b&w ; 4 x 5 in.
Maps:

number and kind of item

special kind (like 'blueprint')?
color? (col., hand col.)


height x width in cm.
1 map : blueprint ; 41 x 29 cm.

1 map : col. ; 26 x 20 cm.
Manuscripts (handwritten items):

number of pages (# p.)


illustrated? (ill.)


height in cm.


25 p. : col. ill. ; 36 cm.
Music (printed):

number of scores/parts and page numbers


illustrated?


height in cm.
1 cello part (5 p.) ; 36 cm.
Sound recordings:

number and kind of items with playing time

digital or analog?
playing speed?

diameter of disc in in.
gauge of film in mm.
1 sound disc (80 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Motion pictures and videorecordings:

number and kind of items with playing time


sound (sd.) or silent (si.)?
color (col.) or black and white (b&w)?


gauge of film (mm. or in.) or diameter of discs (in.)
1 video disc (1 hr., 45 min.) : sd., col. ; 8 in.

2 film reels (ca. 55 min. each) : si., b&w ; standard 8 mm.
Three-dimensional objects:

number and kind of items

material (when known)
color?


height x width x depth in cm.
1 saucer : porcelain, col. ; 18 cm. in diam.

1 niddy noddy : wood ; 29 x 46 cm.

* Note: for photographs that are 'standard sizes' (as defined by UNTL guidelines) dimensions can use measurements other than cm.

Additional Information

 

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Subjects and Keywords

 

This field is required.

General Information

  • There is no limit on the number of subjects/keywords, but they should describe what the item is 'about' and be useful for finding the item
  • Subjects from controlled vocabularies should be formatted properly
  • Keywords should be lowercase (except for proper names) and plural
  • Records for The Portal to Texas History must have at least one subject string from the UNT Libraries Browse Structure (UNTL-BS)
  • People visible in photographs can be included as named persons (names are inverted and may include titles, suffixes, and nicknames)
  • Examples:

Keywords

horseback riding
postcards

 

UNTL-Browse Subject

Business, Economics and Finance - Transportation - Railroads - Trains

 

Named person

Steever, Col. Edgar Z.

 

Named animal

Doc Persnickety

 

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Denton County (Tex.)--Maps.

Additional Information

 

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Primary Source

 

This field is required.

General Information

  • Primary sources are first-hand accounts of historical subjects
  • Mark "Yes" using the form radio button if the item is a primary source
  • Mark "No" using the form radio button if the item is not a primary source
  • Examples:

Primary sources

maps
photographs
letters

 

Not primary sources

yearbooks

Additional Information

 

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Coverage

 

This field is optional -- if the coverage information is unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • Coverage tells what a thing is about rather than when and where it was made (so, a book about the end of World War II in Texas published in 2005 in New York would have a coverage place of "United States - Texas" and year "1945")
  • Coverage places should be entered using hierarchical formatting from the largest to the smallest level (i.e., United States - [State] - [County] County - [City])
  • Do not include levels bigger than "country" or smaller than "city" in the hierarchy
  • Use the hierarchy found in the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names unless it falls into our list of exceptions
  • Coverage dates can be entered, if known, either as a single date or a date range (start date and end date) using the same formatting as creation dates
  • Records in The Portal to Texas History can also include relevant time periods chosen from our list of "eras"
  • When choosing eras, always use the most generic time period that includes the year(s) unless a specific topic is relevant
  • Examples:

Coverage place in Texas

United States - Texas - Denton County - Denton

 

Coverage place outside of Texas

Germany - Niedersachsen - Hannover National District - Hannover

 

Coverage place that is an exception to the rules

United States - New York - New York City

 

Single coverage date

1862-05~

 

Coverage date range

Start date: 1905
End date: 1922

 

Coverage time period

rep-tex - The Republic of Texas

Additional Information

 

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Source

 

This field is optional -- if there is no source or the source is unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • When only a part of the object is scanned (for example: a map from a book), source is used to cite the parent object
  • Source is also used if the item comes from a larger event (such as a conference or exhibition)
  • Include the major information about the source object including: title, author, publication/creation date, identifier (if applicable)
  • Separate information with commas
  • If relevant, choose the kind of source from the drop-down menu
  • Examples:

Map from a book of plats

Source: [O. K. Hobbs Plat Book], [Abilene (Tex.)] City Engineering Department, 1930

 

Clipping from a newspaper

Source (newspaper): Dallas Morning News, March 3, 1999. p. 26A

Additional Information

 

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Relation

 

This field is optional - if there is no relation or the relation is unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • Relation is used to show how two objects in the UNT Libraries system are related to one another
  • Relationships are reciprocal, from a controlled list of pairs (for example, one object would have the relationship "Has part" and its related object would have the relationship "Is part of")
  • Generally, an object will have relation(s) that point to every related object (a map that has 4 additional copies would have 4 relation fields, each pointing to a different copy)
  • Include the title, identifier (if relevant) and ark of the related item
  • Examples:

Index to a series of volumes

(References): Experiment Station Record Volume 01, ark:/67531/metadc5053

 

Volume that has a separate index

(Is referenced by): U.S. Experiment Station Record General Index to Volumes 01-12, ark:/67531/metadc5060

 

Map blueprint that has a non-blueprint copy

(Has format): Map of North Park Addition to Abilene, Texas [#2], OKHPB_0470, ark:/67531/metapth77939

 

Map that is a copy of a blueprint

(Is format of): Map of North Park Addition to Abilene, Texas [#1], OKHPB_0468, ark:/67531/metapth77936

 

Report from a soil survey

(Has part): Soil map, Texas, Wilson County, ark:/67531/metapth19658

 

Map that accompanies a soil survey

(Is part of): Soil survey of Wilson County, Texas, ark:/67531/metapth19820

Additional Information

 

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Institution and Collection

 

These fields are required.

General Information

  • Based on information from partner institutions and departments, institution and collection codes are created at the start of each project
  • Be sure to choose the correct institution and collection(s) from the drop-down menus based on the information you are given about the project
  • Sometimes items will have more than one collection but each item can have only one institution
  • Examples:

Institution

ACRM - Amon Carter Museum

 

Collection

HSUY - Hardin-Simmons University Yearbooks

Additional Information

  • If you want to see the full guidelines for institution, see the Institution page
  • To see additional institution examples, see Other Examples
  • If you want to see the full guidelines for collection, see the Collection page
  • To see additional collection examples, see Other Examples

 

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Resource Type and Format

 

These fields are required.

General Information

  • Resource type and format both describe what kind of item the object is
  • Choose the most specific resource type that is relevant from the UNT Libraries list
  • For "format", choose the corresponding, more generic form of the resource type from the format list
  • Examples:

Photograph

Resource type: image_photo - Photograph
Format: image

 

Map

Resource type: image_map - Map
Format: image

 

Letter

Resource type: text_letter
Format: text

Additional Information

  • If you want to see the full guidelines for resource types, see the Resource Type page
  • To see additional resource type examples, see Other Examples
  • To see the full list of resource types, see the Comments section
  • If you want to see the full guidelines for formats, see the Format page
  • To see additional format examples, see Other Examples
  • To see the full list of formats, see the Comments section

 

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Identifier

 

This field is optional - if there is no identifier or if the identifier is unknown, leave it blank.

General Information

  • Include as many identifiers as are relevant (they may be written on the item or come from a catalog record)
  • Some identifiers are assigned by the institution that owns the objects (accession or local control number); some may be found in related records (call numbers, OCLC accession numbers, Library of Congress Control Number, etc.); and some can be found on the item (report numbers, ISBN, etc.)
  • For accession numbers assigned by the holding institution, add the institution code to the front (i.e., OKHPB_0185)
  • Examples:

Call number

M1500.G68 A4

 

OCLC number

50684665

 

Library of Congress Control Number

sn86088968

 

Local control number

ELPL_B650

Additional Information

 

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Note

 

This field is optional -- if there are no notes, leave it blank

General Information

  • Notes are used for information that is important about the item but that does not fit into another field
  • Display notes are used for information that users might want or need to know
  • Non-display notes are used for information that is important for internal records but that users should not or do not need to see
  • Display notes are searchable but non-display notes are not
  • Examples:

Display note containing information from a title page

"Issued May 11, 1918."

 

Display note for pagination issues

Missing pages 15 and 16.

 

Non-display note about internal metadata decisions

Shortened title was chosen for official title to facilitate discovery.

 

Non-display note with a signature to show who wrote a record

Descriptive metadata by htarver 2009-04-03.

Additional Information

 

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Degree Information

 

These fields should be used for products of the UNT community, only

  • Projects that use the Degree field include:UNT Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), items in the UNT Scholarly Works collection, other items created by the UNT community
  • If you are working on items created at UNT, read the full guidelines for this field on the Degree Information page.