The new MEAP metadata documents include an updated Metadata Template(opens in a new tab) and a Metadata Handbook(opens in a new tab). Both documents are designed to support project teams as they work to create clear, consistent, and accurate metadata for their collections.
Users will note that new MEAP Metadata Template now includes four tabs of information:
- Template: Project teams should copy or download the template to create metadata for their digital collection.
- Instructions: This tab provides users with instructions on how to use the template.
- Information: This tab includes details about each individual metadata field, including optional fields not listed on the template.
- Vocabularies: This tab provides list of MEAP required and recommended vocabularies. This tab can also be used as a worksheet to define local vocabularies.
The MEAP Metadata Handbook consolidates and combines earlier pieces of documentation into one comprehensive guide. It also offers expanded definitions and explanations. Teams that are new to metadata may find the introductory sections helpful for understanding how metadata works and why metadata is important while teams with more experience creating metadata might appreciate some of the additional guidance that is specific to MEAP’s process and how metadata is published on the UCLA Digital Library platform.
The new metadata documents reflect developments at MEAP in our first five years.
First, they reflect improvements and changes to the UCLA Digital Library platform. Changes to the UCLA Digital Library(opens in a new tab) technical infrastructure over the past five years necessitate updates to MEAP documentation.
Second, we have learned a lot. Our new template takes into account the work of past projects and reflects formatting that increases findability and access. The template now provides clearer guidance about how to format different kinds of information so that all project teams can be consistent in their metadata and take advantage of the digital platform’s functions.
Finally, we understand that it helps to see other models. The new Metadata Handbook provides examples and illustrates how different projects have approached different questions. We believe it’s helpful to see how decisions made at the creation stage are represented after publication.
When updating our metadata documentation, MEAP had two main objectives in mind. We first wanted to make it easier for teams to understand how their metadata would be published and would appear on the UCLA Digital Library alongside their collections. To that end, we updated the field names in our metadata documents to align more closely with the labels assigned to each field in the digital library. We hope these field labels will make it easier for teams to understand the connection between the public display of their collections and the metadata behind those displays.
We also wanted to make explicit MEAP’s commitments to community-centered, inclusive, and multilingual metadata. The new documentation addresses these commitments by explaining why community-centered metadata matters and how teams can work to describe their collections in terms that are relevant to the communities they represent. In the metadata handbook, readers will find a discussion of all terms, links to thematic, subject-specific, and non-English controlled vocabularies that might be relevant to their collections, and additional guidance about creating multilingual metadata. We hope this additional information will make it easier for teams to create metadata that’s relevant and meaningful for their collections and their communities.
We invite current and future MEAP grantees to explore these new resources as they continue to document and digitize valuable, at-risk cultural heritage collections.