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Penrose Library

Omeka Documentation: How to Use Dublin Core

Modules on the use of Omeka software, with FAQ for faculty and students.

Dublin Core Metadata Examples

How to Use Dublin Core Metadata

The Dublin Core metadata standard is a simple yet effective element set for describing a wide range of networked resources. It allows researchers to access and analyze digital objects in a much more robust and thorough manner, since everyone is following the same guidelines for their description.


The following Dublin Core fields are available in Omeka, together with some suggestions on interpreting the fields. The fields are vague by design so please consult with your instructor and/or your instruction librarian on the specifics of your projects.


Title: A name given to the resource. Examples: title of a painting or film ; the name of a person when using the "person" item type; the name of a lesson plan or collection.


Subject The topic of the resource. Typically, the topic will be represented using keywords, key phrases, or classification codes. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary. To describe the spatial or temporal topic of the resource, use the Coverage element. Examples: Library of Congress subject headings; subject-specific nomenclature.


Description An account of the resource. Description may include but is not limited to: an abstract, a table of contents, a graphical representation, or a free-text account of the resource. Examples: a photo caption; descriptive information of an artifact/museum object; summary of a lesson plan; abstract or summary of a long document;


Creator An entity primarily responsible for making the resource. Examples: Author/authors; artists; photographers; institutional authors or producers, such as university or federal agency.


Source The resource from which the described resource is derived. The described resource may be derived from the related resource in whole or in part. Recommended best practice is to identify the related resource by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system. Examples: Accession number; Collection of objects; Division of an archive or library.


Publisher An entity responsible for making the resource available. Examples: actual publisher, if there is one; entity or consortium publishing digital materials.


Date A point or period of time associated with an event in the lifecycle of the resource. Date may be used to express temporal information at any level of granularity. Date is one of the trickiest fields to fill. You will want to decide how best to use it for your project for consistency. There is an open text field for date so that you can reflect the type of date information you have whether it is a very specific date MM/DD/YYYY or if it is "circa 1940".


Contributor An entity responsible for making contributions to the resource. Examples: person who contributed a story or file for an Omeka collecting project; owner or donor of collected objects; You are the contributor!


Rights Information about rights held in and over the resource. Typically, rights information includes a statement about various property rights associated with the resource, including intellectual property rights. Examples: spell out conditions of use for specific items here; Creative Commons type; Public Domain; Copyright.


Relation A related resource. Recommended best practice is to identify the related resource by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system. Examples: a still image of a person entered as a "person" type.


Format The file format, physical medium, or dimensions of a resource. Examples include size and duration. This is usually the format of the online object, not the original item. Physical medium is also included in item type metadata.


Language A language of the resource. Examples: English; Russian; Spanish, et al.


Type The nature or genre of the resource. To describe the file format, physical medium, or dimensions of the resource, use the Format element. Examples: For consistency, use item type controlled vocabulary provided by Omeka: Document, Moving Image, Oral History, Sound, Still Image, Website, Event, Email, Lesson Plan, Hyperlink, Person, or Interactive Resource.


Identifier: An unambiguous reference to the resource within a given context. Recommended best practice is to identify the resource by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system. Most likely you will not need this field.


Coverage : The spatial or temporal topic of the resource, the spatial applicability of the resource, or the jurisdiction under which the resource is relevant. Spatial topic and spatial applicability may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates. Temporal topic may be a named period, date, or date range. A jurisdiction may be a named administrative entity or a geographic place to which the resource applies. Examples: 1900-1945; 20th Century; Victorian Period; Western United States


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