MODS: required elements
email link

Princeton University Cataloging Documentation

index link

Core elements

Basic principles

Levels of cataloging

MODS documentation

VRA documentation

METS documentation

Metadata basics

Metadata accompanying images in the digital library constitutes cataloging of digital resources and is designed to provide access points for discovery, and descriptive data for basic identification and provision of information about the original resource not discernable from the image.

This metadata is library and archival resource description, not publication or research, and as such it will follow national and international cataloging standards, and be in accordance with documented local practices.

An "abstract" field is available for project initiators to provide whatever level of detailed publication-type information is desired. This field will vary by schema, and may therefore have varying labels ( in MODS; VRA, etc.)


Nonroman data which is given in transliteration will follow ALA/LC romanization tables.

The schema, content standard, and thesauri used for a project will be determined based on factors such as: available data, format of material, user needs, descriptive elements desired, and repository of originals.

Data given in authority-controlled fields will be formulated according to an established thesaurus.

Fields subject to authority control include
(but are not limited to)

Author Uniform title
Creator (in any role) Medium/Genre
Composer Subjects
Artist (of any type) Series
Contributor Based on
Former owner Work type

The display of data is subject to change according to the changing needs of the overall digital library.

With the exception of the full-length abstract wording, the underlying data itself is subject to change according to changes in standards and infrastructure.

The level of description will be determined at the outset of a project.

Core data elements: The interdepartmental Metadata Committee at Princeton has developed a list of core elements to be included in all metadata records whenever possible. For some projects these elements will be provided for all individual images, for other projects some elements may only appear in the collection-level record.