B. Value Encoding Schemes and Content Standards

[note: red star* = newly edited or added]

1. Standardized vocabularies

DCMI Type Vocabulary

A general, cross-domain list of Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) approved terms that may be used as values for the resource type element to identify the genre of a resource.

MIME Internet Media Types

Originally called MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) types. http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/
Specifies identifiers for media types for file formats on the Internet.  

RFC 4646 Tags for Identifying Languages

Describes the structure, content, construction, and semantics of language tags for use, as well as how to register values for use in language tags and the creation of user-defined extensions for private interchange. This document, in combination with RFC 4647, replaces RFC 3066, which replaced RFC 1766. (RFC 1766 specifies a two letter code taken from ISO 639Codes for the representation of names of languages, followed optionally by a two letter country code taken from ISO 3166 - English country names and code elements.)

ISO 3166 - English country names and code elements

Provides a standard numeric and 2-letter and 3-letter alphabetic codes for countries or areas of special sovereignty. This standard family includes Part 1: Country Codes and Part 2: Country Subdivision Code.  
* http://xml.coverpages.org/country3166.html

ISO 639 Codes for the representation of names of languages

Provides two sets of language codes for the representation of names of languages.
Part 1: Alpha-2 code
includes identifiers for major languages of the world for which specialized terminologies have been developed. (http://xml.coverpages.org/iso639a.html)
Part 2: Alpha-3 code
(http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php) contains identifiers for all of the languages represented in part 1 and includes additional languages that have significant bodies of literature. It also provides identifiers for groups of languages, such as language families. When taken together these indirectly cover most languages of the world.

W3C Date and Time Formats (W3C-DTF)

Provides encoding rules for dates and times. As a profile based on ISO 8601 Data elements and interchange formats -- Information interchange -- Representation of dates and times, it defines a restricted range of formats. It also expresses the year as four digits in all cases.

ISO 8601:2004 Data elements and interchange formats -- Information interchange -- Representation of dates and times

Information: http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=40874

2. Subject Headings Lists and Thesauri

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

A comprehensive list of subject headings in print. Subject authority headings can be accessed through Library of Congress Authorities at http://authorities.loc.gov/

*Available as Linked Data: http://id.loc.gov

FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) Authority File

An adaptation of the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) with a simplified syntax. The headings have been built into FAST authority records and accessible through the OCLC FAST Test Databases Web site at http://fast.oclc.org/

Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)

* http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/index.html
Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust, Vocabulary Program, 2000-.
A controlled vocabulary for fine art, architecture, decorative arts, archival materials, and material culture for the purposes of indexing, cataloging, searching, as well as research tools. The facets are conceptually organized in a scheme that proceeds from abstract concepts to concrete, physical artifacts

*Linked Data SPARQLEndpoint: http://vocab.getty.edu/queries#Finding_Subjects

Medical Subject Headings (MESH)

A comprehensive controlled vocabulary produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and used for indexing, cataloging, and searching for biomedical and health-related information and documents. MeSH descriptors are organized in 16 categories (sometimes referred to as "trees").

Thesaurus for Graphic Materials

* Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM)http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/tgm/

Developed by the Library of Congress for indexing visual materials.
*Available as Linked Data: http://id.loc.gov

National Monuments Record Thesauri

A set of thesauri developed by the National Monuments Record Centre, English Heritage project (officially known as Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England). The thesauri include Monument Types, Archaeological Objects, Building Materials, Defence of Britain, Components, Maritime Place Names, Maritime Craft Type, Maritime Cargo, Evidence Thesaurus, Archaeological Sciences, Thred Thesaurus, and Historic Aircraft Type.
Developed by English Heritage, a Non-Departmental Public Body established by the National Heritage Act 1983. Its formal name is The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England.

INSPEC Thesaurus

A thesaurus of the INSPEC database for scientific and technical literature in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computers and computing, and information technology. Produced by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

ERIC Thesaurus

A thesaurus of ERIC (the Education Resources Information Center) database which provides free access to education-related literature and materials. ERIC is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES). ERIC Thesaurus is available through the ERIC Web site at http://www.eric.ed.gov/.

3. Classification schemes


Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC)

Info: http://www.oclc.org/dewey.en.html
*DDC Summary -- Linked Data version (No longer available since 2015)
*Try WebDewey free for 30 days »

Library of Congress Classification

Info: http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/lcco.html
*Available as Linked Data: http://id.loc.gov

Universal Decimal Classification

Info: http://www.udcc.org/
UDC Summary http://www.udcc.org/udcsummary/php/index.php
*UDC Summery Linked Data http://udcdata.info/


The ACM Computing Classification System [1998 Version], Valid through present]

A subject classification system for computer science devised by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Classification

A library classification system covering the fields of medicine and preclinical basic sciences. It utilizes schedules QS-QZ and W-WZ, permanently excluded from the Library of Congress Classification Schedules and is intended to be used with the LC schedules. The Index to the NLM Classification consists primarily of Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) concepts used in cataloging.


A classification system for describing and classifying the subject of images represented in various media such as paintings, drawings and photographs.

4. Name authority files

* VIAF (The Virtual International Authority File)


Implemented and hosted by OCLC, VIAF is a joint project of multiple national libraries in the world which virtually combining the name authority files of participating institutions into a single name authority service. As of the winter of 2011, there are 21 authority files of personal, corporate, and conference names from 18 organizations participating in VIAF. [VIAF]

The Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)

* http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/ulan/index.html
Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust, Vocabulary Program, 2000-.
A structured vocabulary containing more than 225,000 names and biographical and bibliographic information about artists and architects, including a wealth of variant names, pseudonyms, and language variants.

*Linked Data SPARQL Endpoint: http://vocab.getty.edu/queries#ULAN-Specific_Queries

The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)

Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust, Vocabulary Program, 1988-.
A structured, world-coverage vocabulary of over 1.3 million names, including vernacular and historical names, coordinates, place types, and descriptive notes, focusing on places important for the study of art and architecture.

*Linked Data SPARQL Endpoint: http://vocab.getty.edu/queries#TGN-Specific_Queries

LC Name Authority file = Anglo-American Authority File (AAAF)

Includes several millions of name authority records for personal, corporate, meeting, and geographic names.
*Available as Linked Data:http://id.loc.gov

Alexandria Digital Library (ADL) Gazetteer

A product of the Alexandria Digital Library (ADL), a distributed digital library with collections of georeferenced materials developed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

5. Content Standards and Best Practice Guides

Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (CCO)

Authored by Baca, M., P. Harpring, E. Lanzi, L. McRae, and A. Whiteside on behalf of the Visual Resources Association
* Info and selections: http://cco.vrafoundation.org

*Whole book PDFs available at: http://cco.vrafoundation.org/index.php/toolkit/cco_pdf_version/

Specifies a set of core elements, comprising the most important descriptive information necessary to create a record for a work and an image. It provides guidelines for selecting, ordering, and formatting data used in cataloging to improve documentation and access to cultural heritage information.

Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

Society of American Archivists (SAA)
A content standard of SAA. DACS outlines the elements that must be included at different levels of description and describes how those elements should be implemented for describing archives, personal papers, manuscript collections, and other types of materials.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. 1988 2nd Rev. ed. (AACR2)

Info: http://www.aacr2.org/about.html
The bibliographic standard designed for use in the construction of catalogues and other lists in general libraries of all sizes. The rules cover the description of, and the provision of access points for, all library materials commonly collected.

RDA: Resource Description and Access

RDA Toolkit: http://www.rdatoolkit.org/
RDA is built on the foundations established by AACR. It will provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media.

Best Practices for OAI Data Provider Implementations and Shareable Metadata

A joint initiative between the Digital Library Federation and the National Science Digital Library

Best Practices for Shareable Metadata


Part of the Best Practices for OAI Data Provider Implementations and Shareable Metadata, it is a joint initiative between the Digital Library Federation and the National Science Digital Library.

DLESE Metadata Best Practices

The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) Collections Accessioning Taskforce
Provides guidelines and checklists to help in the generation of metadata records that are effective and efficient for library use. The document describes metadata quality guidelines, cataloging best practices, and individual record checks.