DCMI Collection Description Community

Collections Usage Guidelines

Dublin Core™ Metadata Initiative - Collection Description Community

4 October 2007

Editor: Ann Apps
Mimas, The University of Manchester, UK

Status of this document: Working Group Resource

Description: This document contains information about usage guidelines for, and examples of collection descriptions contributed by, various collection-based services, projects and applications.

Collection Description Services, Projects and Applications

IESR: JISC Information Environment Service Registry

The JISC Information Environment Service Registry (IESR) is a registry of collections, and services that provide access to those collections. The Collection metadata is based on Dublin Core™ Collections Application Profile (DCCAP), though does not use all the properties and does include a few IESR-specific ones.

Cataloguing Policy : http://iesr.ac.uk/guidelines/cataloguing-policy/

Content Creation Guidelines : http://iesr.ac.uk/guidelines/content/

Examples : Examples of Collection Descriptions can be seen by searching or browsing via:
Collection descriptions are at the beginning of the full records as displayed in the web interface.


The MICHAEL project ( http://www.michael-culture.org/) is now running in 16 countries and a version of the manual is being made available in each country in the national language. Platform guides are also available - and the software itself is available through SourceForge. More information about the MICHAEL data model is available from the project website.

Collection Description Manual : http://www.michael-culture.eu/technology/collectiondescriptionmanual/intro.htm

UK Collection Description Manual : Prepared as a best practice guide for preparing records in the MICHAEL UK database: http://www.michael-culture.org.uk/manual/intro.htm

Translations are being produced of this guide by each country (16 and growing) participating in MICHAEL. These will be available from the project website: http://www.michael-culture.eu/doc.html

SCONE: The Scottish Collections Network

SCONE ( http://scone.strath.ac.uk/service/index.cfm) offers collection-level descriptions in a proprietary format. All types of collection are covered, including archive, library, museum and online collections, ranging in granularity from single serials/newspapers (a collection of issues) through special/named collections to organisational collections. Descriptions can be output in a number of standard formats, including IESR and DCCAP (the mapping needs to be adjusted to the current version) as well as HTML and MARC21.

Guide and Manual : Collection-level descriptions in the Scottish Collections Network (SCONE): a guide and manual for maintaining the database (slightly out-of-date, but only in minor details). http://cdlr.strath.ac.uk/pubs/dunsireg/sconecldguide.pdf

Database Guide : http://scone.strath.ac.uk/service/Guide/gContents.cfm

Output formats for collection-level descriptions from the SCONE database: http://cdlr.strath.ac.uk/pubs/dunsireg/CCISconeOutput.pdf

Data dictionary for the SCONE format: http://scone.strath.ac.uk/service/sconeservice/ddtbsel.cfm

UIUC Collection-Based Registries

UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US) maintain various of collection-based registries. From the top-level pages there are links to various details like usage guidelines, service entry points, etc. Much of our collection description in all of these systems is based on the DCCAP with local extensions. UIUC are finding that collection descriptions can provide significant added value to typical OAI-PMH item-level metadata aggregation, and have done a bit of work in integrating collection descriptions into these types of aggregations.

OAI data provider registry : the OAI data provider registry includes a simple collection description component. http://gita.grainger.uiuc.edu/registry/

DLF Collections : a list of collections maintained by Digital Library Federation (DLF) members. http://dlf.grainger.uiuc.edu/DLFCollectionsRegistry/browse/

Institute of Museum and Library Service Digital Collections : the Institute of Museum and Library Service Digital Collections and Content (IMLSDCC) provides access to collection descriptions, and item-level access, via OAI-PMH aggregation, for specific collections. http://imlsdcc.grainger.uiuc.edu/