DCMI Collection Description Community

DC Collection Description

Report of Working Group, September 2003

Evaluation, 2002-2003

In September 2002, the co-chairs reported that there had been limited interest in the development of a Dublin Core-based application profile for collection-level description. As aresult there was no formal Workplan prepared for 2002-2003.

Early in 2003, a number of expressions of interest in the work of the group were received. In May, the activity of the group was relaunched with a revised provisional work plan. [1]

The previous proposal (based on the RSLP Collection Description schema [2]) was redrafted in the form of an application profile [3], and that document formed the basis for discussion via the dc-collections mailing list from June to August 2003. [4]

A number of changes were suggested and a third draft [5] is now under discussion. This includes a simple type vocabulary for collections, based on the DCMI Type Vocabulary. A face-to-face meeting of the WG will take place at DC-2003 [6].

The initial work schedule has proved to be too ambitious, given the relatively small number of participants who have contributed actively to the development of the application profile, but reasonable progress has been made in developing the "core" of the profile.

Proposal for activities, 2003-2004


The Group proposes to complete the work originally proposed:

  1. to continue its work on the application profile for collection-level description with the aim of presenting a proposal to DC Usage Board at its next meeting (after DC-2003)
  2. to develop some supporting documents/tools, particularly
  • the creation of appropriate usage guidelines for the schema;
  • a set of crosswalks for mapping between this collection description schema and some major domain-specific standards and schema used for collection-level description (e.g. ISAD(G), EAD, MARC21).
  • schemas to support encoding in RDF and XML in accordance with current DCMI guidelines

Community need

A number of activities and initiatives (e.g. in the UK, the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) and more recently the work by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to develop an "Information Environment" to support Higher and Further Education; The European Library (TEL) project; the Institute of Museum and Library Services' project to develop a Collection Registry of National Leadership Grant projects) have illustrated the interest in using collection-level description to support the disclosure/discovery of collections. At the same time, they highlight the absence of consensus on a metadata schema suitable for the description of a wide range of collections.

Support for activity

Several participants in the above activities are now contributing to the WG. In the UK, the Collection Descripton Focus' work on raising awareness of CLD generally and the importance of consistency of approach complements the efforts of the DC CD WG, and the Focus has sought to promote the work of the WG within the UK.

The DC activity has also attracted the interest of the group at Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) working on MPV (a specification that defines a manifest and metadata format and practices for processing and playback of collections of digital photo, video, and related audio and file content).


[1] DC CD WG Revised Milestones, May 2003 http://homes.ukoln.ac.uk/~lispj/dc-cd/miles.html

[2] RSLP Collection Description schema http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/rslp/schema/

[3] Dublin Core™ Collection Description Application Profile, Working Draft 2003-05-29 http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/dcmi/collection-application-profile/2003-05-29/

[4] DC-Collections mailing list http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/DC-COLLECTIONS.html

[5] Dublin Core™ Collection Description Application Profile, Working Draft 2003-08-25 http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/dcmi/collection-application-profile/2003-08-25/

[6] DC Collection Description WG meeting, Wednesday 1 October, 13.30-15.00. Provisional Agenda http://dc2003.ischool.washington.edu/collectionDescription.html