Describing Your Materials

It is the responsibility of the contributing institution to provide descriptive information (“metadata”) for all materials submitted for inclusion in DigitalNC. Descriptions should be organized according to the metadata guidelines found below. Upon request we will provide a spreadsheet template for entering data.

Each field includes the Dublin Core mapping, when there is one, and a brief description of the field and how it is to be used.

North Carolina Digital Heritage Center staff members are available for consultation regarding metadata creation.

Metadata Guidelines Field-by-Field

Note that only a few fields are required. Providing Date and Location information greatly improves access to your materials.

Title Required. A name given to the item. It is up to the contributor to decide how much information to include.
Dublin Core: Title
Creator Institutions or individuals that created or assembled the item. Names should be taken from the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF). If the name is not listed there, it should still be listed in LCNAF format.
Dublin Core: Creator
Publisher Institutions or individuals that made the original item available. May include a name and location.
Dublin Core: Publisher
Description Narrative description of the item. This free-text description can be as short or as long as necessary.
Dublin Core: Description
Date Point or period of time associated with the creation of the item. This date field can include both words and numbers as necessary. For example, “circa 1950”, or “between 1980 and 1990”.
Dublin Core: None
Date (numeric) Point or period of time associated with the creation of the item. This date field can contain numbers only and will be used by the system to enable searching and sorting by date. If you know specific dates (as opposed to just years), list them in year, month, date (YYYY-MM-DD) format.
Dublin Core: Date.Created
Location This field should list the location depicted (if the item is an image) or the location from which a document or publication originated. Contributors are strongly encouraged to list the North Carolina county, whenever known.
Dublin Core: Coverage
Subject (Topic) Topical subject terms that describe the item. Use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).
Dublin Core: Subject
Subject (Name) This field is used for names of well-known individuals or institutions. Names should be taken from the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF). If the name is not listed there, it should still be listed in LCNAF format.
Dublin Core: Subject
Subject (Images) Topical subject terms that describe the image. Terms should be taken from the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials.
Dublin Core: Subject
Subject (Local) This field may be used for terms created for specific institutions and/or projects.
Dublin Core: None
Type Required. The nature or genre of the original item. Use the Dublin Core Type Vocabulary. For photographs, the term “Image” will always be included in this field. For text-based items, the term “Text” will always be included in this field.
Dublin Core: Type
Format Required. Describes the specific form of the item. Use the Art and Architecture Thesaurus. Contributors are encouraged to use the term “Photographs” for all photographic prints, as well as more specific terms when appropriate.
Dublin Core: Format
Language Language(s) of the original item.
Dublin Core: Language
Dimensions Size of the item. The dimensions used are up to the discretion of the contributor.
Dublin Core: Format.Extent
Digital Collection Required. Name of the digital collection on DigitalNC in which the item will be included, for example “Images of North Carolina” or “North Carolina Memory”.
Dublin Core: None
Contributing Institution Required. Full name of the organization that contributed the original item.
Dublin Core: None
Collection in Repository The name of any larger collections of which the item is a part.
Dublin Core: None
Item/Call Number Any call number or item number associated with the original item.
Dublin Core: Identifier
Rights Statement Required. Statement describing what is known regarding the rights status of the item. Statements will be taken from RightsStatements.org.
Dublin Core: Rights
Usage Statement Any additional information that describes usage conditions of the item. 
Dublin Core: Rights
Contact Information Required. Contact information for the organization that holds the original item. Contributors are encouraged to use general addresses, rather than contact information for specific staff members.
Dublin Core: None
File Name Required. The file name for the item being described.
Dublin Core: None

Sample Metadata Records

Group of men, women, and children processing cane for molasses.

Sample Image Record: Minimum

Title Making ‘Lasses
Type Image
Format Photographs
Digital Collection Images of North Carolina
Contributing Institution Haywood County Public Library
Rights Statement NoC-US, No Copyright US 
Contact Information 678 South Haywood Street, Waynesville, NC 28786 | 828-452-5169
Filename hcpl_017-making molasses.tif

Sample Image Record: Full

Title Making ‘Lasses
Creator McCanless, S. A.
Publisher Cumming, Baltimore, Md.
Description Making molasses in the Newfound Community.
Date 1890s
Date (numeric) 1890-1899
Location Haywood County (N.C.)
Subject (Topic) Sugar–Manufacture and refining–North Carolina.
Molasses.
Subject (Images) Sugarcane
Sugar industry
Horses
Group portraits
Type Image
Format Photographs; Group portraits
Dimensions 8.5×6″
Digital Collection Images of North Carolina
Contributing Institution Haywood County Public Library
Collection in Repository Edward J. McCauley Photographs (P082)
Item/Call Number P082_14_144
Rights Statement NoC-US, No Copyright US 
Contact Information 678 South Haywood Street, Waynesville, NC 28786 | 828-452-5169
Filename hcpl_017-making molasses.tif

Sample Scrapbook Record

Title Fayetteville Technical Community College Scrapbook [1980-1981]
Date 1980-1981
Date (numeric) 1980-1981
Location Fayetteville (N.C.)
Cumberland County (N.C.)
Subject (Topic) Education–North Carolina–Cumberland County.
Universities and colleges–North Carolina–Fayetteville.
Subject (Topic) Fayetteville Technical Community College–History.
Type Text
Format Scrapbooks
Language English
Digital Collection North Carolina Memory
Contributing Institution Fayetteville Technical Community College
Rights Statement CNE, Copyright Not Evaluated
Contact Information Email: library@faytechcc.edu / Phone: (910) 678-8247
Filename ftcc_07.pdf