Introduction

Baylor University Libraries implement a metadata-based management system for all their digital collections.  They monitor the current national and international standards activities concerning metadata, digitization, management, and preservation.  Through their research and application of these standards, the Baylor University Libraries has been able to choose metadata schemas (Dublin Core and Metadata Object Description Schema [MODS]) that best fit their needs and software that they use for their digital projects from ingestion to access to preservation.  This document enables people who will be inputting descriptive metadata to describe digital resources in a consistent way that will safeguard the long-term preservation of the resources and allow users to discover and retrieve information about the Baylor University Libraries digital collections.

This guideline first covers core descriptive information that is based heavily on AACR2 and are found in almost every descriptive metadata schema whether there is a variation or not.

                                                Core Descriptive Information

            • Title
            • Author
            • Contributor
            • Publication Info
            • Date
            • Physical Description
            • Subject
            • Note
            • Collection Title
            • Rights
            • Identifier
            • Resource Type

A definition, steps on how to create, examples, and where secondary information goes is provided for each of these twelve descriptive areas.  Additionally there are terminology tables for both the Dublin Core and MODS elements and their equivalent in MARC.  Exercises are provided after each terminology table to test knowledge of the element names and their correlating tag in MARC.  Lastly there are links provided for six mappings: MARC-DC, DC-MARC, MODS-MARC, MARC-MODS, DC-MODS, MODS-DC.  Additionally, there are links to the user guidelines for both MODs and DC. 

With these guidelines, it is the hope of the Digital Collections Unit that the description of digital resources whether text, image, audio, video, or another format will have the most complete and accurate information (metadata) to make the searching and retrieval of digital objects easier.  Complete and accurate information and how metadata elements are being used also help with transformations between metadata schemas and interoperability between systems.  The more information (metadata) that is provided the easier the transformation, but the less information (metadata) the more difficult.  The same can be said for digital preservation.  Because of the continuous changing nature of metadata standards, this guideline will always be under constant review and revision.

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this guideline, please contact Amanda Harlan at amanda_harlan@baylor.edu.