Metadata Best Practices for University Archives Images

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University Libraries


Archival cataloging, Archival metadata, Best practices, Descriptive standards, Item-level metadata, Metadata mapping, University archives cataloging


Academic librarians and archivists have long partnered on the development and implementation of cataloging best practices for archival materials. Much of this shared history involves cataloging in traditional integrated library systems, using metadata, descriptive standards, and software originating in bibliographic cataloging to create records in artisanal detail. The University of Denver cataloged and digitized the whole of an archival collection in two years by taking advantage of patterns inherent in archival arrangement to batch-create metadata using archival collection management software. Using this approach, the University of Denver scaled up the production of records, while keeping costs down and maintaining quality, and developed a set of best practices that has extended to other shared cataloging and digitization projects.

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