H4. Sample Metadata Template

NOTE: This sample metadata template is based on the Dublin Core metadata schema.[1]

Field name Dublin Core mapping Controlled vocabulary Notes
title title Transcribe from item whenever possible. If supplying a title, use square brackets.
alternate title title Use for a supplied title when the transcribed title in title field is not descriptive; or for a title in another language.
creator creator Format should be last name, first name.
contributor contributor An entity responsible for making contributions to the resource.
publisher publisher Use only if the digital item represents the entire published work.
identifier OR image id OR accession number identifier   In general, this field is used to indicate the physical location of the item (ex. call number, image number, box and folder number).
description description   Provide a short description of the resource.
subject [optional] subject Thesaurus for Graphic Material (TGM) http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/tgmhtml/tgmabt.html Use either the broader or narrower term, not both.  i.e. choose between Families and Adults, Children, etc.  If the item is generally representing one concept, choose the narrower; if the item is generally representing many concepts, choose the broader.

Follow TGM rules for place (country, city, etc) facets. 

Use the names of ethnic groups only with TGM subdivisions in Appendix A. 

Maximum five terms per item; minimum one; preferably 1 or 2.

Try to restrict choice of terms to only what is represented in the item itself.

Use Canadian spellings (i.e. colour, labour, etc.)

subject - geographic coverage-spatial Canadian Geographical Names: http://geonames.nrcan.gc.ca/index_e.php 

US Geographical Names: http://geonames.usgs.gov/

Use to indicate locations depicted (for maps or views).
personal names subject Use for "important" people, or (optionally) for people who appear as the subject of personal correspondence or are depicted in portraits.
genre type Library of Congress Basic Genre Terms for Cultural Heritage Materials http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/techdocs/genre.html The genre of the resource.
date date YYYY-MM-DD If you want to add the day, this can be included in the description. If the date is a range, use the earliest in the date field. Use format YYYY-MM-DD. If specific date of creation is needed, please include in description field.
language language Use natural language rather than MARC or ISO codes .
digital content type type DCMI type vocabulary: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-type-vocabulary/ The nature of the resource.
digital image format format IANA MIME Media Types vocabulary: http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/index.html The file format, physical medium, or dimensions of the resource.
forms part of relation Use formal collection name from fonds record .
repository source A related resource from which the described resource is derived.
rights rights Images provided for research and reference use only. Permission to publish, copy, or otherwise use these images must be obtained from [insert collection holder and URL/email]. Information about rights held in and over the resource. Can also include URL to Creative Commons Licence.


project website relation   URL for project homepage.


  1. Adapted from metadata template used at UBC Library's Digital Initiatives Unit: http://diginit.library.ubc.ca/