Metadata Schema

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:[[Main Page]] > Metadata Schema
[[Main Page]] > Metadata Schema

Revision as of 14:34, 15 May 2008

Main Page > Metadata Schema


Descriptive Metadata

See Sample Records for example of these fields in use.


Unique item ID taken from the call number (for example, Cm912_1775s or MC_034_1938n). This is usually the name of the image file, minus the extension. This string identifies unique maps, not unique pages, thus pages in a compound object will all have the same map_id.


Title of the map. The subtitle, if there is one, is also included here.

Alternative Title

This will accommodate alternate titles for well-known maps that are known by different titles (for example, the “Mouzon map” or the "Beaver map.") It will also include full versions of map names when abbreviations or misspellings are given in the actual title.

Creator - Individual

Name of the person or people responsible for creating the map.

Creator - Organization

Company, government agency, or other organization responsible for creating the map (the publisher should not be listed again here unless the same organization had a role other than that of publisher in sponsoring or creating the map).

Place of Publication

Place of publication, if available.


Publisher of the map, or of the book or atlas in which the map appears.

Date Published (Numeric)

Date the map was printed. This will be set as a date field, accommodating only numbers. The field will be able to handle single dates or date ranges. This will not display, but will be indexed and searchable.

Date Published (Display)

Text version of the date field -- can handle non-numeric characters (ca. 1850s, [1844]). This is the date field that will display.

Date Depicted (Numeric)

Date that the information on the map depicts. In many cases, this will be the same date as that in the date field, but there will be exceptions. For example, a historical map published in 1876 might show North Carolina as it was in 1776. Or, the information on the map itself might include detailed information that enables us to extrapolate a date, for example, "based on a survey done in 1841." Many State Archives map catalog records refer to this as the "situation date."

Date Depicted (Display)

Text version of the date field -- can handle non-numeric characters (ca. 1850s, [1844]). This is the content date field that will display.


This field will include transcriptions of text that appears on or around the map, at the discretion of the cataloger. It should include relevant bibliographic information that is not given in the title, for example, "Top of map: 'Prepared from Carpenters Survey and other sources, by Wm H. James, Civil Engineer. Wadesboro N.C. November 1878.' Publisher and printer information might also be included in this field: "Bottom of map: 'Drawn by F. Lucas Jr. Kneass sc.'" Note that the location of the printed text is given in the field itself and that the caption information is always included in quotes.


Natural language description of the map itself, providing a general summary of the map and noting significant features. This is the place to introduce keywords and proper names that might be of interest to researchers, but do not warrant a separate subject heading of their own. Inset maps should also be described here, with their full titles given.

Historical Note

Whenever historical or explanatory information is available, it should be included here. These can be simple statements (for example, "This is the first printed map of Durham County") or longer notes on the history of the map itself. Many State Archives maps have historical information in the catalog record -- that should be captured in this field.

Bibliographic Note

This field will most often be used to describe notable features on the map that were used to distinguish it from a similar, but separate printing. This will likely not be necessary with many maps, and the cataloger should take care to use it only for bibliographic issues -- general descriptions and historic information belong in the Abstract and Historic Note fields. This field might be used for such notes as "Although the date 1750 is printed on the face of the map, Cumming, in the Southeast in Early Maps, suggests that the map was not printed until 1754." or "The absence of Durham and Vance counties, created in 1881, suggests that the map shows North Carolina at an earlier date than the copyright of 1889 states."


If the map is described in any standard bibliographies, such as Cumming's The Southeast in Early Maps, we'll note both the title and the number. Articles and relevant books that reference the map should also be listed here.


OCLC/WorldCat accession number

Related Item

If the map is taken from an atlas or a manuscript or archival collection, that should be noted here.

Related Maps

This is a very important, though somewhat hard to define field. There will be many cases where multiple maps are in effect only slight variations on a single original. If we are certain, or even pretty sure, that one map is just a slightly altered version of another,the related versions should be listed here. For now, just include the call number of the related maps.


For browsing purposes, we are borrowing themes from the Library of Congress's American Memory project.


This subject field describes the purpose of the map. This is a controlled-vocabulary field using terms developed for this project. It is important to note that Map Theme and Map Type are not hierarchical, thus it is possible to have the two fields overlap or even duplicate each other. In determining the purpose of the map, the cataloger should consider the publisher, and, (if known) original use of the map. For example, a map that shows a wide variety of information might be a candidate for General in the map_type field, however, if it was prepared by the state geologist and contains, in addition to everything else, substantial information about the geology and topography of the state, it would be classified as a Geological map. Multiple terms can be used in this field.

Subject - Layers

This subject field describes the amount of detail (or layers) included on the map itself. This field might denote that the map includes information about, for example, Mountains, Railroads, Soundings, Elevation, or Population. These are controlled-vocabulary terms developed locally. The cataloger should be generous in assigning these terms -- even if only one canal is visible on the map, it should receive a "Canals" subject in this layer. Some of these terms are less specific than others and may warrant expansion in the Abstract field. For example, the "Businesses" term might be included here while the Abstract notes that the map shows mills and stores. Multiple terms can be used in this field.

Subject - Geographic

Library of Congress subject headings for major geographic locations depicted on the map, followed, in nearly every case, by the "Maps" genre subheading. (For example, "Camden County (N.C.) -- Maps.") This field will be especially important when the records from North Carolina Maps are incorporated into larger databases and catalogs.

Subject - Name

People represented on the map itself. In nearly every case, this field will be used when people are pictured on the map (several maps in this project are decorated with photographs or engravings in the margins). Use authorized versions of the name from the Library of Congress Name Authority File.

Subject - Organization

This field should be used for corporate subjects, such as businesses or universities that are prominently featured on the map. Note that this is different from the name or organizations responsible for creating the map. Those should go into the Creator - Organization field.

Subject - Topical

Field describing the non-geographic subject of the the map. For example, "Railroads -- North Carolina -- Maps" or "Soil surveys -- North Carolina -- Orange County." This will look similar to Subject - Geographic, with the important difference that Subject - Geographic begins with a place name, whereas Subject - Topical begins with a topic.

Subject - Graphic

Field describing illustrations on the map such as boats, trains, seals, portraits, or sea monsters. These will often be more decorative than illustrative, but should still be noted in the map description. This is controlled vocabulary field, using terms from the Library of Congress's Thesaurus of Graphic Materials.


Tiered geographical location (for example: United States, North Carolina, Piedmont, Orange County, Chapel Hill). For North Carolina, regions and counties should be given, when appropriate. Specify one or two regions as shown; if all three regions are shown, no regions specified and hierarchy stops at state level. This field is here for two reasons: first, to present, at its narrowest level, the scope of the entire map (in other words, not every place name has to be listed here). Second, this field will allow for accurate and helpful narrowing and broadening of geographic searches.

Places Depicted

Places represented on the map, given in LC format. This will allow for basic browsing and cross-searching, simplifying many of the subject-geographic fields. This field should be used to represent only what is shown in detail on the map. (For example, a map of Wake County or a narrow coast survey would not also receive a "North Carolina" heading.) However, the cataloger can be generous in listing names of towns, islands, or other geographic areas that would be unlikely to show up elsewhere. This field will be used primarily for searching and browsing within the North Carolina Maps project. The Subject - Geographic field will be more helpful when these records are incorporated into and indexed with larger projects (such as Documenting the American South).

West Longitude

Longitude (in decimal degrees) for the westernmost point shown on the map.

East Longitude

Longitude (in decimal degrees) for the easternmost point shown on the map.

North Latitude

Latitude (in decimal degrees) for the northernmost point shown on the map.

South Latitude

Latitude (in decimal degrees) for the southernmost point shown on the map.


Scale of the map, given in a ratio format (ex.: 1:24,000). When a scale is not given, note that here. Even though the cataloger will often be giving an approximate scale, we will not include brackets or "circa" notations here.


Projection should only be noted when the projection used is specified on the map itself. This field will use terms specified by AACRII:


Size of the map in centimeters, height by width (for example, "34 x 65 cm.").


Medium of original, (e.g. "Paper" "Silk," "Linen")


Primary language or languages of the text on or around the map.


Name of the repository that holds the original map.

Digital Collection

Name of the digital collection: North Carolina Maps


Name of the institution hosting the digital collection: "University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. University Library. Carolina Digital Library and Archives."

Source of support for the digital project: "Library Services and Technology Act, distributed through the State Library of North Carolina"

Call Number

Locally assigned call numbers. For UNC maps, just the call number is given here, for Archives and OBHC maps, the call number and MARS Id are included.


Suggestion citation for the digital version of the map.

Copyright Information

Information on the copyright holder, or a public domain statement.

Rights and Permissions

This could be either a general statement about reproducing or publishing the map image, a specific statement about rights for an individual map, or simply a link to a general statement about rights and permissions for all of the maps in a certain collection.

Preservation Metadata

For the North Carolina Maps project, technical or preservation metadata fields were determined from the NC ECHO Preservation Metadata for Digital Objects:


File name of the original, raw scan. The file name is usually the call number of the map (for example, Cm912_1770r.tif or MC_150_1709s.tif).


Date that the map was photographed or scanned. This date should be presented in YYYY-MM-DD format.


The name (including make and model) of the hardware and accessories used to photograph or scan the map.


The name of the software used in the initial capture of the digital image of the map (often a software package that comes with a specific scanner or camera, or else an image processing package like Adobe Photoshop).


Height, in pixels, of the original scan.


Width, in pixels, of the original scan.


The bit depth of the original scan.


Color information for the original digital image.


The file format (in most cases, TIFF) of the original scan.


Name of the individual and/or institution responsible for scanning or photographing the map.

Map Metadata Fields and Crosswalks

Field Name Dublin Core Terms MARC MODS / METS / MIX
map_id Identifier <mix:BasicDigitalObjectInformation>>
Title Title 245 [Main Title Entry] <mods:titleInfo>
Alternative Title Title.Alternative 246 [Other Title Entry]; 730 [Uniform Title Entry] <mods:titleInfo>
<mods:title type="alternative">
Creator - Individual Creator 100 1 _ [Main Author Entry]; 700 1 _ [Added Author Entry] <mods:name type="personal">
<mods:roleTerm type="text" authority="marcrelator">
Creator - Organization Creator <mods:name>
<mods:roleTerm type="text" authority="marcrelator">
Place of Publication 260 [Publication Info] place <mods:originInfo>
<mods:placeTerm type="text">
Publisher 260 [Publication Info] $b publisher <mods:originInfo>
Date Published (Numeric) Date 260 [Publication Info] $c date <mods:originInfo>
<mods:dateCreated encoding="iso8601">
Date Published (Display) Date 260 [Publication Info] $c date <mods:originInfo>
Date Depicted (Numeric) 500 [Note] <mods:originInfo>
<mods:dateCaptured encoding="iso8601">
Date Depicted (Display) <mods:originInfo>
Caption Description 500 [Note] <mods:physicalDescription>
<mods:note type="caption">
Abstract Abstract 520 [Summary, etc] <mods:abstract>
Historical Note Description 545 [Biographical or Historical Note] <mods:note type="historical">
Bibliographic Note Description 500 [Note] <mods:note type="bibliographic">
Reference Relation.IsReferencedBy 510 4 [Reference to Published Material] <mods:relatedItem>
<mods:title> . . .
OCLC Identifier 001 [OCLC Record No.] <mods:identifier type="oclc">
Related Item Relation.isPartOf 250 [Edition Statement]; 500 [Edition and History] <mods:relatedItem type="host">
<mods:title> . . .
Related Maps Relation.hasVersion, Relation.isVersionOf 534 [Original Version Note] $p introductory phrase ("original"): $a author main entry $c publication information of original $n note about original (for more subfields, see <mods:relatedItem type="otherVersion">
<mods:title> . . .
Theme Subject <mods:subject authority="ncmaps_theme">
Type Subject <mods:subject authority="ncmaps_type">
Layers Subject 500 [Note] "what time or other aspect of the map might be mentioned? (Covers ..., Date of situation, Relief shown by..., Shows ...)"; 006 [Relief Code] <mods:subject authority="ncmaps_layer">
Subject - Geographic Subject 052 [Geographic Classification Data]; 052 field is repeatable; 651 0 [Geographic Subject Heading] place name -- $v subdivision <mods:subject authority="lcsh">
<mods:temporal> . . .
Subject - Name Subject 600 (1 Individual, 3 Family) 0 [Subject Personal Name] personal name $d dates <mods:subject authority="lcsh">
Subject - Organization Subject 610 _ 0 [Subject Corporate Name] corporate name $b subordinate unit $x general subdivision/$y chronological subdivision/$z geographic subdivision <mods:subject authority="lcsh">
Subject - Topical Subject 650 [Topical Term]; 651 [Geographic Subject Heading] place name -- $x ( we would put "United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865." because public would consider these topics rather than places) <mods:subject authority="lcsh">
<mods:genre> . . .
Subject - Graphic Subject 650 [Topical Term] <mods:subject authority="lctgm">
Scope Coverage.Spatial 662 [Hierarchical Place Name] country or larger entity $b first-order political jurisdiction $c intermediate $d city $e relator term $f city subsection. For more, see <mods:subject>
<mods:country> <mods:state>
<mods:citySection> See
Places Depicted Coverage.Spatial <subject authority="ncmaps_place_names">
West Longitude coverage.x.min 034 [Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data] $d westernmost (left-most) <mods:subject>
<mods:coordinates type="westLongitude">
East Longitude coverage.x.max 034 [Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data] $e easternmost (right-most) <mods:subject>
<mods:coordinates type="eastLongitude">
North Latitude coverage.y.max 034 [Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data] $f (northmost (top) <mods:subject>
<mods:coordinates type="northLatitude">
South Latitude coverage.y.min 034 [Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data] $g southernmost (bottom) <mods:subject>
<mods:coordinates type="southLatitude">
Scale 034 [Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data] $a scale category $b scale ratio $d westernmost (left-most) coordinate $e easternmost (right-most) $f northmost (top) $g southernmost (bottom); 255 [Mathematical Details] $a scale $b statement of projection $c coordinates <mods:subject>
Projection 255 [Mathematical Details] $a scale $b statement of projection $c coordinates <mods:subject>
Size Format.Extent 300 [Physical Description] extent (map) $c dimensions $f type of unit $g size of unit <mods:physicalDescription>
Medium Format.Medium 007 $e physical medium <mods:physicalDescription>
<mods:form type="material">
Language Language 546 [Language of map] <mods:language type="text">
base_dir none
path none
raw_scan_filename none <mets:fileSec>
<mets:fileGrp USE="archival">
digital_scan_date_raw_file none <mix:GeneralCaptureInformation>
hardware_raw_scan none <mix:ImageCaptureMetadata>
software_raw_scan none <mix:ImageCaptureMetadata>
pixel_array_height_raw_scan none <mix:BasicDigitalObjectInformation>
pixel_array__width_raw_scan none <mix:BasicDigitalObjectInformation>
bit_depth_raw_scan none <ImageAssessmentMetadata>
color_space_raw_scan none <mix:BasicDigitalObjectInformation
file_format_raw_scan none <mix:BasicDigitalObjectInformation>
creator_raw_scan none <mix:GeneralCaptureInformation>
repository (displays as "Repository") Publisher 040 $a repository <mods:location>
Digital Collection None 690 [Local Subject]
Host Publisher
Sponsor None
Call Number Identifier 099 _ 9 [Call Number] <mods:identifier type="local">
URL Identifier 856 7 _ [Electronic Access] $u uniform resource identifier (URI) $2 access method (http)
Citation Identifier
Copyright Information Rights
Rights and Permissions Rights
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