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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Metadata Services

Acquisitions & Cataloging Services

What is Metadata?

Libraries have a long history of collecting, managing, and preserving information. The key to libraries being able to carry out these missions is the proper organization of the information resources they curate. Metadata allows us to open up access to libraries’ resources. Metadata enhances the accessibility of resources now and ensures future access by providing descriptive, technical, and preservation information. A metadata record is contained in a metadata standard that provides the proper semantics for organizing the information that describes the resource, and is created based on a set of rules, i.e., a content standard.

While metadata is a fundamental means of bringing order to library collections, libraries can no longer rely exclusively on a single metadata standard, or a single content standard. As libraries collect more resources in diverse formats from diverse sources, librarians must create metadata for these resources using different metadata standards and content standards. This LibGuide introduces metadata standards and content standards used in libraries and other cultural heritage institutions.

Metadata Services

We provide metadata services to faculty and students on campus. If you need help selecting a metadata standard, creating metadata for research collections, or managing personal collections, please contact us in the Acquisitions and Cataloging Services Department!

Services Include:

  • Examining the best Metadata Standards options for your collections or data
  • Selecting appropriate controlled vocabularies for your metadata
  • Providing instruction on the best practices for creating metadata
  • Providing instruction on the use and best practices of digital content management systems