Bibliographic Management | Factfile


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What is metadata?

The simplest definition is 'structured data about resources'. Library catalogues are a form of metadata, as are abstracting and indexing services (structured data about articles), finding aids (structured access to archival repositories) and documentation of museum contents. Community information is structured data about institutions, organisations, societies and clubs, typically found in directories and yearbooks.

Holding metadata in electronic form is recent development and a variety of metadata formats have been created to hold such information. Metadata formats are ways of structuring content, and this content is held by and delivered by one or more carriers. The markup languages are one set of carriers and can be used for a variety of metadata formats. In contrast, the MARC format is the carrier of MARC format records. More information on metadata can be found on the UKOLN metadata pages.

Markup languages




Metadata formats

Collection Description

Dublin Core (DC)

Encoded Archival Description (EAD)

MARC formats


VRA Core (visual resources)

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Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 02-Jun-2005
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