Collection Level Description
12 October 1998
Edited by: Andy Powell, UKOLN
Collection descriptions will be used to:
On September 2 1998 a group of representatives of clumps and hybrid libraries projects, library automation software suppliers and other interested parties attended a UKOLN initiated meeting at the British Library in London to discuss the issues associated with collection description . One of the outcomes of the meeting was the formation of a small 'working group'.
This report describes the progress of the working group so far. It proposes a core set of collection description attributes and lists some of the issues associated with it. Where necessary it lists those issues where we feel further work is required. The key open issues are:
These and other issues are discussed in more detail below. The working group welcomes comments on these issues and any other aspect of this report. Comments should be sent to the email@example.com mailing list in the first instance.
In parallel with the working group, UKOLN have been editing an eLib supporting study entitled 'Collection Level Description - a review of existing practice' . Early draft versions of this study provided context for some of our discussions.
The group considered 5 existing description formats in detail:
In general the group has aimed to:
|Title||Title||The name given to the collection, usually by the Admin, Owner or Publisher.|
|Subject and Keywords||Subject||The topic of the collection. Typically, subject will be expressed as keywords or phrases that describe the subject or content of the collection. The use of controlled vocabularies and formal classification schemes is encouraged.|
|Description||Description||A textual description of the content of the collection.|
|Collection Administrator||Admin||The person or organization responsible for collection administration (administrative contact).|
|Collection Owner||Owner||The person or organization that owns the collection.|
|Publisher||Publisher||The entity responsible for making the collection available in its present form, such as a publishing house, a university department, or a corporate entity.|
|Date||Date||A date associated with the creation or availability of the collection. Recommended best practice is defined in a profile of ISO 8601  that includes (among others) dates of the forms YYYY and YYYY-MM-DD. In this scheme, for example, the date 1994-11-05 corresponds to November 5, 1994.|
|Language||Language||The language of the intellectual content of the collection. Recommended best practice is defined in RFC 1766 .|
|Source||Source||Information about the resources from which the collection is derived.|
|Coverage||Coverage||The spatial or temporal characteristics of the intellectual content of the collection. Spatial coverage refers to a physical region (e.g., celestial sector) using place names or coordinates (e.g., longitude and latitude). Temporal coverage refers to what the collection is about rather than when it was created or made available (the latter belonging in the Date element). Temporal coverage is typically specified using named time periods (e.g., neolithic) or the same date/time format as recommended for the Date element.|
|Relation||Relation||An identifier of a second resource or collection and its relationship to the present collection. This element is used to express linkages among related resources and collections of resources.|
|Collection Type||Type||The category of the collection. For the sake of interoperability, Type should be selected from an enumerated list.|
|Other notes||Notes||Specialized information that cannot be accommodated in any of the other areas.|
|Collection Purpose and Policy||Purpose||A statement of why the collection is offered and the origin and lineage of the items held. This attribute may also describe any collection policy associated with the collection.|
|Collection Identifier||Identifier||A string or number used to uniquely identify the collection. Examples for networked collections include URLs and URNs (when implemented). Note that protocol specific URLs for Z39.50 (RFC-2056) , LDAP (RFC-2255)  and Whois++ ( draft-ietf-asid-whois-url-02.txt)  may be used to provide host, port, database and other information ncessary for connecting to network accessible collections.|
|Access Times||AccessTimes||Time ranges for mandatory or preferred access of service.|
|Physical Location and Access||Location||If there is physical access to the collection, this attribute gives information about its location, for example a postal address. This attribute may also be used to provide related information, such as wheelchair access.|
|Terms and conditions|
|Access Policy||AccessPolicy||A description of any constraints or legal prerequisites for accessing the collection or its component items.|
|Charging Policy||ChargingPolicy||A description of any charging mechanism in place, an identifier such a description or an identifier that links to a service providing such a description for the collection.|
|Rights Management||Rights||A rights management statement, an identifier that links to a rights management statement, or an identifier that links to a service providing information about rights management for the collection.|
|Use Constraints||UseConstraints||A description of any constraints or legal prerequisites for using the collection or its component items. This includes any use constraints applied to assure the protection of privacy or intellectual property and any other special restrictions or limitations on using the collection.|
|Required Collection Logo||Logo||The URI of a logo associated with the collection or the Owner of the collection. If present, this logo must be displayed by any service that provides access to the collection.|
Note that the Admin, Owner and Publisher attributes provide information about organizations and/or people. The group has decided that, for the time being, these attributes should take simple text values (e.g. a name, a name and email address or a name and phone number). In the longer term it might be sensible to develop structured values for these attributes, perhaps based on vCard .
It is likely that users of this attribute set will want to refine the semantics of several of the attributes in order that they become more useful. Two examples are the Date and Relation attributes (see below). Recent work on the DC data model indicates that there are at least two kinds of qualifiers. The first kind modify (typically refine) the semantics of the element. These have been refered to as TYPE qualifiers in the past. The second kind say something about the value (typically that the value is drawn from some enumerated list or external scheme). These have been refered to as SCHEME qualifiers in the past. The working group have not considered the implications of qualification for this attribute set in any detail.
IsPartOfSee the Dublin Core Relations Working Group draft report  for more information.
The working group propose the use of these relationship types (noting that IsPartOf and HasPart look to be most useful in the context of collection description) adding two new ones:
Note that in the examples below these relation types are embedded into the value of the Relation attribute, followed by the identifier (or title) of the related collection or item.
- the URL or name of a second collection that is the catalogue for, or contains a catalogue record for, the current collection
- the URL or name of a second collection for which the current collection is the catalogue
It is expected that this attribute set may be implemented in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
The use of protocol specific URLs has several advantages. It limits the number of attributes required and means that we are unlikely to have to expand the attribute set in the future as new protocols become available (assuming that the new protocols have associated URL formats). However, it is anticipated that implementations may choose to hide these URLs behind the user-interface, instead presenting more familiar protocol, host, port, database attributes to end users.
Finally it should be noted that the working group make no recommendations about how attribute qualifiers (described above) should be implemented. Embedding the qualifier into the attribute value, as is done for the Relation attribute in the examples below, is a simple possibility.
There is currently no agreement on how best to handle conspectus. However, CAIRNS have a requirement to use conspectus and consider that:
CreatedHowever, it is not clear that these are useful in the context of (discovery of) collections?
Title : COPAC Subject : Description : COPAC gives access to the online catalogues of some of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland. Most COPAC records represent books and periodicals (but not periodical contents). Other materials include videos, printed and recorded music, and electronic materials. Admin : firstname.lastname@example.org Owner : Manchester Information Datasets and Associated Services Publisher : Manchester Computing, University of Manchester Date : Language : en-uk Source : Consortium of University Research Libraries Coverage : Cambridge University Library Coverage : Dublin: Trinity College Library Coverage : Edinburgh University Library Coverage : Glasgow University Library Coverage : Leeds University Library Coverage : London: University College Library Coverage : London: Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Library Coverage : London: University of London Library Coverage : University of Manchester Library Coverage : Nottingham University Library Coverage : Oxford: Bodleian Library and other libraries Type : Collection.Catalogue.Library Notes : Purpose : Location : Rights : UseConstraints : AccessTimes : Any Identifier : http://cs6400.mcc.ac.uk/copac/ AccessPolicy : Open Identifier : telnet://copac.ac.uk/ Identifier : z39.50s://z3950.copac.ac.uk:2100/COPAC ChargingPolicy : Free Logo : http://cs6400.mcc.ac.uk/copac/icons/copac.gif
Title : Digimap Subject : Ordnance Survey; OS; maps; digital map data Description : DIGIMAP is exploring ways of delivering Ordnance Survey map data to Institutes of Higher Education in the United Kingdom. Based in the Data Library at the University of Edinburgh, the project involves researchers and service developers as well as map library and library staff from six UK academic insititutions. Admin : P.Burnhill@ed.ac.uk Owner : Data Library, University of Edinburgh Publisher : University of Edinburgh Date : Language : Source : Ordnance Survey Coverage : Type : Collection.Dataset Type : Collection.Image Notes : Purpose : Rights : http://digimap.ed.ac.uk:8081/service/copyright.html UseConstraints : http://digimap.ed.ac.uk:8081/service/copyright.html Location : Identifier : http://digimap.ed.ac.uk:8081/ AccessTimes : Any AccessPolicy : Access limited to staff and students at: University of Aberdeen Queen Mother Library University of Edinburgh Main Library University of Glasgow Library University of Newcastle Robertson Library University of Oxford Bodleian Library Map Library University of Reading Department of Geography Map Library Registration is required. ChargingPolicy : Free Logo : http://digimap.ed.ac.uk:8081/ui-graphics/digi_logo_3.jpeg
Title : Follett Lecture Series Subject : electronic library; digital library; information technology Description : This series of lectures developed from an idea put forward by members of the JISC's Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology, with the aim of raising awareness of international developments and issues relating to the electronic library, and stimulating further discussion. Beginning in May 1994 with a paper given at the University of Aston by Clifford Lynch, then of the University of California, the final lecture took place at the University of Leicester in March 1997 with a presentation by Peter Graham of Rutgers University Library. The series featured 11 speakers giving a total of 13 lectures. Venues ranged across the United Kingdom, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, Derry City, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, London, Birmingham and Leicester. Admin : Owner : Publisher : Date : Language : Source : Coverage : United Kingdom, 1994-1997 Relation : Type : Collection.Event Notes : Logo : Logo : Purpose : Rights : UseConstraints : Location : Identifier : AccessTimes : AccessPolicy : ChargingPolicy :
Title : The Pitman Collection Subject : shorthand; phonetic alphabets; Initial Teaching Alphabet; ITA; Pitman family; Description : A collection of printed, manuscript, and audiovisual material and artefacts collected by Sir Isaac Pitman and his grandson, Sir James Pitman. The collection has been added to by the Pitman Company. It includes over 7300 catalogued monographs and serials on the history of shorthand plus a small number of uncatalogued manuscripts in shorthand. The collection also includes 75 feet of material on the Initial Teaching Alphabet (ITA), 50% monographs, the rest artefacts, offprints, correspondence, etc. - all unsorted - plus 18 filing cabinets of archival material. Admin : Keith Jones - email@example.com Owner : University of Bath Library Publisher : University of Bath Date : Language : en-uk Source : Pitman family Source : Pitman Company Source : Library of the Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation Coverage : Predominantly UK - 19th and 20th century. Relation : HasPart Initial Teaching Alphabet Collection Relation : IsCataloguedBy http://www.bath.ac.uk/Library/webcat/ Type : Collection.Library.Special Notes : Transferred to the University of Bath in 1970. Purpose : Rights : (c) University of Bath UseConstraints : Location : Library and Learning Centre University of Bath Bath BA2 7AY UK Identifier : AccessTimes : AccessPolicy : By arrangement with the University of Bath Library. ChargingPolicy : Free Logo :
Title : Social Science Information Gateway Title : SOSIG Subject : Economics; Development; Law; Education; Management; Accountancy; Business; Environmental Issues; Philosophy; Demography ; Politics; International Relations; Ethnology; Social Anthropology; Psychology; Feminism; Social Science General; Methodology; Geography; Social Welfare; Community; Disability; Education; Sociology; Government; Military Science; Statistics; Demography Description : SOSIG is an online catalogue of thousands of high quality Internet resources relevant to social science education and research. Every resource has been selected and described by a librarian or subject specialist. Admin : firstname.lastname@example.org Owner : ILRT, University of Bristol Publisher : University of Bristol Date : Language : en-uk Source : Coverage : Type : Collection.Catalogue.Internet.Subject Notes : Purpose : http://sosig.ac.uk/desire/collect.html Location : Rights : UseConstraints : Identifier : http://www.sosig.ac.uk/ Identifier : whois++://sosig.ac.uk:8237/ Identifier : z39.50s://edward.ilrt.bris.ac.uk:2102/Sosig AccessTimes : Any AccessPolicy : Request check of centroid before querying Whois++ server ChargingPolicy : Free for non-commercial and educational use Logo : http://www.sosig.ac.uk/images/sos.gif
Title : Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection Subject : migrant work camps; california; folk song; folk culture; US; united states; america Description : The collection consists of approximately 18 hours of audio recordings (436 titles on 122 recording discs), 28 graphic images (prints and negatives), and 1.5 linear feet of print materials including administrative correspondence, field notes, recording logs, song text transcriptions, dust jackets from the recording discs with handwritten notes, news clippings, publications, and ephemera. The online presentation provides access to 371 audio titles, 23 graphic images, a sampling of the dust jackets, and all the print material in the collection. Covering a period between 1940 and 1941, this collection documents the lives of Dust Bowl migrants living in Farm Security Administration (FSA) camps in California. Admin : email@example.com Owner : Publisher : Library of Congress Date : Language : en-us Source : Coverage : California, USA, 1940-1941 Relation : IsPartOf http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ Type : Collection.Sound Notes : Purpose : Rights : http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/afctshtml/tscpyrt.html UseConstraints : Location : Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA Identifier : http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/afctshtml/tshome.html AccessTimes : Any AccessPolicy : Open ChargingPolicy : Free Logo :
Title : The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive Title : WOMDA Subject : First World War; WWI; Wilfred Owen Description : The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive contains a host of material relating to the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, in particular, and a large amount of related background material on the War in general . It is not the intention of the authors of this site to canonize Owen above the other poets of the First World War, rather the contents of the archive are a reflection of the proximity of material and advice on Owen available to the authors. The archive contains digital facsimilies of Owen's original manuscripts, audio interviews with veterans, letters written by Owen, contemorary video clips, contemporary photographs and modern video and photographs. Admin : firstname.lastname@example.org Owner : Humanities Computing Unit, Oxford University Computing Services Publisher : University of Oxford Date : Language : en-uk Source : Imperial War Museum Source : Wilfred Owen Estate Source : Harry Ransom Research Centre, University of Texas at Austin Source : British Library Source : Public Records Office Coverage : 1914-1918 Type : Collection.DigitalArchive Type : Collection.Text Type : Collection.Image Type : Collection.Sound Notes : Purpose : http://firth.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/jtap/help.html#whatcontain Location : Rights : http://firth.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/jtap/copyright.html UseConstraints : http://firth.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/jtap/copyright.html Identifier : http://firth.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/jtap/ AccessTimes : Any AccessPolicy : Open ChargingPolicy : Free Logo : http://firth.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/jtap/images/womda-title.gif
Title : National Fairground Archive Subject : fairground; showmen; fairs; history Description : The NFA is a unique collection of photographic, printed, manuscript and : audiovisual material covering all aspects of the culture of travelling : showpeople, their organisation as a community, their social history and : everyday life; and the artefacts and machinery of fairgrounds. There are : over 30,000 images in the photographic collection, in addition to audio : and video material, journals and magazines, and nearly 300 monographs. : The collection also includes a unique body of fairground ephemera : (programmes, handbills, posters, charters and proclamations, plans and : drawings). Admin : Dr. Vanessa Toulmin, NFA Assistant Director; email@example.com Owner : National Fairground Archive Publisher : University Library, University of Sheffield Date : 1994 Language : en-uk Source : Showmen's Guild of Great Britain Source : Fairground Association of Great Britain Source : UK fairground societies Source : fairground families Coverage : United Kingdom; 18th century - present Relation : HasPart Bellhouse Collection Relation : HasPart Harry Lee Collection Relation : HasPart Jack Leeson Collection Relation : HasPart Shufflebottom Collection Relation : HasPart R A Taylor Collection Relation : HasPart Tucker Collection Relation : HasPart Waddington Collection Relation : IsCataloguedBy Type : Collection.Archive Type : Collection.Image Type : Collection.Text Type : Collection.Sound Notes : Web pages at http://www.shef.ac.uk/~nfa/ Purpose : Rights : (c) National Fairground Archive UseConstraints : Location : Main Library, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN UK Identifier : AccessTimes : Monday to Friday, from 9.30 to 1.00 and from 2.00 to 4.30 AccessPolicy : Appointments must be made in advance ChargingPolicy : Logo : http://www.shef.ac.uk/~nfa/logo.gif
[Collection Level Description] [Metadata] [UKOLN]