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About this Guide

This guide is presented as a resource for librarians, archivists, museum professionals, students, and scholars who are involved in describing, digitizing, publishing, and studying historic maps of North Carolina. The guide is a product of the behind-the-scenes work that went into the North Carolina Maps digital project produced by the UNC-Chapel Hill University Library, the North Carolina State Archives, and the Outer Banks History Center.

North Carolina Maps: A Guide for Description and Digitization was developed as a supplement to existing map cataloging manuals and tools. It was not intended to serve as a replacement for essential resources such as the Cartographic Materials supplement to AACR2, nor will it supersede other online resources, such as the Map Cataloger's Toolbox at the University of Buffalo. It is primarily a resources for librarians and researchers for use in cataloging and studying maps of North Carolina. However, we anticipate that map catalogers outside of North Carolina will be able to take advantage of some of the examples and terms contained here, and we welcome and encourage map enthusiasts everywhere to use, explore, and offer feedback on the resources in this guide.

Because the focus of this guide is on describing digitized maps, there is not a great deal of emphasis on MARC cataloging, and no section of the classification of maps. That's not to say that MARC is not an essential tool for describing and discovering maps, but we felt that it has been well covered elsewhere, and that this guide would be of more use if it were to focus on a discussion of the more extensive metadata schema used in the North Carolina Maps project, as well as the use of XML-based standards, such as MODS, for the storage and sharing of map metadata.

Throughout the North Carolina Maps project, we have worked to develop a comprehensive metadata schema that would accommodate detailed descriptions of each map, but would at the same time be flexible enough to work with current and emerging metadata standards. Our two primary goals with this were two be able to bring together records created using different standards and present them in a single interface, and to develop a platform for sharing bibliographic and historical information about North Carolina maps.

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