Chapter 6: Using VRA Core 4.0 – The Metadata Manual

6

Using VRA Core 4.0

Abstract:

This chapter describes the history, development, and use of the Visual Resources Association (VRA) Core 4.0 metadata language, which is especially useful for the description of digital images. The structure of VRA Core and the content standards used with it are discussed, as well as its compatibility with XML. Also considered is how VRA Core is designed to embody the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) user tasks and its adherence to the one-to-one principle. The chapter discusses the vocabularies that can be used with VRA Core. Included are detailed descriptions of the elements of VRA Core, and exercises for practising the use of the standard.

Key words

Visual Resources Association

VRA Core

digital images

FRBR tasks

Cultural Objects

Introduction

Image collections provide the most compelling case for quality metadata. Search and discovery remains predominantly a language-based enterprise, so images need textual surrogates to represent them for these purposes. Ideally, the surrogate will support the FRBR tasks of finding, identifying, selecting, and obtaining; and aid cultural heritage institutions in outreach and interpretation, as well as discovery and retrieval (Elings, 2007, p. 10). A metadata record serves as an image’s textual surrogate, and can aid in all these tasks.

At the conceptual level, VRA Core provides a basic element set to consider when designing descriptive metadata fields for a database model (Eklund, 2007, p. 46). The Visual Resources Association created VRA Core to be a single element set that can be applied as many times as necessary to create records to describe works of visual culture, as well as the images that document them. VRA facilitates the sharing of information among visual resources collections about works and images.

Users of VRA Core are visual resource professionals such as slide librarians, museum librarians, and art historians. The original developers of VRA Core were slide librarians who had surrogates of famous artistic works in their collections, but rarely the original work. While their users might be looking for the Mona Lisa, the slide librarians realized a subtle distinction. What was actually in their collections, what they needed to describe, was an image of the Mona Lisa, rather than the original. The librarians could add a catalog record for the Mona Lisa to their database, but it would be more correct to say that they owned an image of the Mona Lisa. However, at the same time, the users of their libraries needed information about both the original artwork and the surrogate in the slide collection that they would actually use. The visual resources community realized early on that they needed to catalog both the original work and the image held in their collection.

VRA Core closely obeys the one-to-one principle developed by the Dublin Core community (Miller, 2011b, p. 216), which states, “Only one object or resource may be described within a single metadata set” (Visual Resources Association, n.d.a, N. pag.). However, in many cases the image being described does not itself conform to the one-to-one principle. Photographs of museum exhibits often depict the multiple works found in the exhibit. If the exhibit is considered a piece of art in itself, then one photograph may only contain a portion of the whole “work.” There may be many images of a single work (how many reproductions of the Mona Lisa must there be?). A building may be considered an important architectural work of art, and perhaps a famous photographer took a photograph of that building – and maybe your textbook has a reproduction of that photograph. All of these works of art and reproductions have complex relationships to each other, and VRA Core attempts to make these relationships clear.

Eklund points out that “Cultural works are as individual as the artists who create them and the scholars who write about them” (2007, p. 45), and that much of the data we have about cultural works comes from scholars, who can vary in opinion on the specifics of a work of art. Therefore, regularizing data about cultural objects can be a significant challenge. The VRA Core aims to be flexible yet provide sufficient structure to accommodate this challenge.

VRA Core 4.0 intentionally aims to address the FRBR User Tasks. These basic tasks are to find, identify, select, and obtain (International Federation of Library Associations, 2009). These tasks are good touchstones for evaluating the success of our metadata. Further, if the purpose of metadata is to make the user successful in these tasks, we can see how consistent, quality metadata creation is vital to images especially, since they don’t have inherent descriptive text.

Finding the right image requires that the metadata inform the user that the image potentially conveys the specific work, the subject matter, or relation to a certain entity, like an artist or named collection, that they seek. The metadata must be specific enough for the user to select the best resource among possible candidates within a result set, and the metadata records must be distinct enough to identify the desired resource. Once the user has found, chosen, and identified the resource, successful metadata then facilitates the obtaining of it.

Development of VRA Core

VRA Core has been evolving since the introduction of VRA Core 1.0 in the late 1990s. VRA Core operates with the content standard CCO, and is often used in conjunction with the Getty vocabularies AAT, TGN, and ULAN. For those familiar with library cataloging, think of VRA as MARC (the tags), CCO as AACR2 (the content or semantics), AAT and TGN as the Library of Congress subject headings (the controlled vocabulary), and ULAN as the Library of Congress Name Authority File. VRA Core has been mapped to Dublin Core, so transferring VRA metadata across systems is viable, and the VRA elements have been built in as a metadata scheme option in the popular digital asset management platform CONTENTdm.

Versions 1.0–3.0 started out with an element (or category) set, but no structure or encoding (XML). These elements are (Table 6.1):

Table 6.1

Elements in VRA 1.0–3.0

Record Type ID Number
Type Style/Period
Title Culture
Measurements Subject
Material Relation
Technique Description
Creator Source
Date Rights
Location

While you can see a resemblance to Dublin Core in many of the categories and in its simplicity, you can also see accommodations for unique aspects of art and/or museum objects. The concept of relation to other works addressed a need that was wanting in library cataloging standards for non-serial objects. All the elements in VRA Core 1.0–3.0 are repeatable and can be given in any order (Miller, 2011, p. 216).

VRA Core 4.0 was introduced in 2007. Two primary catalysts inspired the revision of VRA Core 3.0: the VRA-sponsored CCO project and the emergence of XML as the data exchange format of choice (Eklund, 2007, p. 45). The development of CCO gave the community a standard for the content of the data entered into VRA Core, and XML provided a structure for the data and a standardized and highly interoperable means for transferring metadata records. The revision also took into account the growing importance of FRBR in the library community. VRA 4.0 became a standard that addressed more community needs and improved data sharing, yet still was a core standard, able to be adapted to the needs of individual institutions.

There are a few key differences in VRA 4.0 that users of previous versions of VRA Core will notice. The primary difference is the change in structuring element qualifiers. In order to work within the XML encoding structure, the element qualifiers found in previous versions had to be restructured into sub-elements and attributes. The other changes concern the elements themselves. The Record Types “image” and “work” are expanded to include “collection” to further describe how museum collections organize resources. It also changes “Creator” (a term inherited from Dublin Core) and instead uses “Agent” to separate the element from a statement of contribution to the intellectual content of the work (donors can be “agents,” but not “creators”). Under the element “agent,” a sub-element, “role,” specifies the contribution of the named person or entity to the record (Miller, 2011, p. 219). These elements support usage of terms familiar to users of art collections.

VRA Core 4.0 elements

Much of the information in this section is taken from the 2007 article, Herding Cats: CCO, XML, and the VRA Core, and the VRA Core 4.0 Element Description, both of which were authored by Janice Eklund. These are excellent resources for learning about the proper usage of VRA Core 4.0, and users should turn to them for detailed information on the intricacies of VRA Core 4.0. The information here aims to give you a foundation to begin working with this element set.

The VRA Core XML schema has 19 elements and 23 sub-elements. Some of these elements and sub-elements have attributes that make the data in an element more specific. VRA Core 4.0 also has nine global attributes that may be applied to any element or sub-element as needed, and two sub-elements called display and notes that are optional for each element set.

There are two versions of VRA Core 4.0: restricted and unrestricted. In the restricted version, the date formats and the values that can be entered in the type attributes are mandated. The standardization of these values allows increased interoperability when data is being aggregated or shared. The unrestricted version allows dates to be entered in any format, and any values can be entered into the type attributes.

In the list below, the elements are marked by bold print, the sub-elements are in regular font, and the attributes are in italics. The global attributes are listed below the elements. In addition to the sub-elements listed under each element, one display and one notes sub-element may be added to any element set as needed. Repeatable elements that allow multiple index values are contained, along with the display and notes sub-elements, within the <elementSet></elementSet> tags (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 1).

Elements

 Work, collection, image (id)

 Agent

– Attribution

– Culture

– Dates (type)

 earliestDate (circa)

 latestDate (circa)

– Name (type)

– Role

 culturalContext

 Date (type)

– earliestDate (circa)

– latestDate (circa)

 Description

 Inscription

– Author

– Position

– Text (type)

 Location (type)

– Name (type)

– Refid (type)

 Material (type)

 Measurements (type, unit)

 Relation (type, relids)

 Rights (type)

– rightsHolder

– text

 Source

– Name (type)

– Refid (type)

 stateEdition (count, num, type)

– Description

– Name

 stylePeriod

 Subject

– Term (type)

 Technique

 Textref

– Name (type)

– Refid (type)

 Title (type)

 Worktype

Global attributes

 dataDate

 extent

 href

 pref

 refid

 rules

 source

 vocab

 xml:lang

Element definitions

Work, collection, or image

The only thing that is required in a VRA Core 4.0 record is an indication of whether the item being described is a work, an image, or a collection. The words work, image, and collection may mean different things to different institutions, but there are very clear definitions for each within the context of VRA Core 4.0:

A work is a unique entity such as an object or event. Examples include a painting, sculpture, or photograph; a building or other construction in the built environment; an object of material culture, or a performance. Works may be simple or complex. Works may have component parts that are cataloged as works themselves but related to the larger work in a whole/part or hierarchical fashion via the RELATION element.

An image is a visual representation of a work in either whole or part. The representation serves to provide access to the work when the work itself cannot be experienced first-hand. In image collections, such representations typically are found in the form of slides, photographs, and/or digital files.

A collection is an aggregate of work or image records. A collection may comprise multiple items that are conceptually or physically arranged together for the purpose of cataloging or retrieval. This record type can also be used to record an archival group that shares a common provenance or a series that encompasses multiple individual titles.

In the XML structure of VRA Core 4.0, this element (work, image, or collection) is considered the top level element, because without a resource to describe there is no need for any of the other elements. When a VRA Core 4.0 record is displayed in XML, you can see that all the other descriptive elements are nested within the top level element.

 <work id=“i_1823743” refid=“04500236”>

 <dateSet>

 <display>1911</display>

 <date type=“creation”>

 <earliestDate>1911</earliestDate>

 <latestDate>1911</latestDate>

 </date>

 </dateSet>

 <locationSet>

 <location type=“repository”>

 <name type=“corporate”>New Mexico State University Rio Grande Historical Collections</name>

 </location>

 </locationSet>

 <titleSet>

 <display> Booth of Casey-Ranch, Roswell Apple Show </display>

 <title type=“descriptive” pref=“true” xml:lang = “en”>Booth Casey-Ranch, Roswell Apple Show </title>

 </titleSet>

 </work>

 <image>

 <dateSet>

 <display>2008-11-21</display>

 <date type=“creation”>

 <earliestDate>2008-11-21</earliestDate>

 <latestDate>20 08-11-21</latestDate>

 </date>

 </dateSet>

 <descriptionSet>

 <description>Created on an Epson Expression 1640XL, 5 00 ppi, 24 bit</description>

 </descriptionSet>

 <measurementsSet>

 <display>56.28 KB</display>

 <measurements/>

 </measurementsSet>

 <relationSet>

 <relation type=“imageOf” refid=“04500236”/>

 </relationSet>

 <techniqueSet>

 <display>digital imaging</display>

 <technique/>

 </techniqueSet>

 <titleSet>

 <title>Digitized image from photograph</title>

 </titleSet>

 <worktypeSet>

 <display>digital image</display>

 <worktype/>

 </worktypeSet>

 </image>

For a more in-depth example of how VRA Core elements nest within the top element, please refer back to the example work and image records in Chapter 2.

While the top level element is the only required element of a VRA Core 4.0 record, there is a recommendation for the minimal level of description that a record for a work or an image should have.

Table 6.2

Recommended element set for minimal description

Work record Image record
Worktype Worktype
Title Title
Agent
Location
Date

Additionally, all image records must be accompanied by one or more work records, because an image is only a surrogate for the work and cannot stand by itself.

Below are the definitions for each element in VRA Core 4.0. These definitions are broad indications of how the elements should be used. For more detailed instructions about formatting the data, VRA Core 4.0 users generally turn to the content standard CCO, although AACR2 could also be used.

agent

Not required, repeatable

Sub-elements:

name

Attribute: type

Restricted values: personal, corporate, family, other

culture

dates

Attribute: type

Restricted values: life, activity, other

earliestDate

latestDate

role

attribution

Description: The names, appellations, or other identifiers assigned to an individual, group, or corporate body that has contributed to the design, creation, production, manufacture, or alteration of the work or image. When more than one agent is cited, the extent attribute may be used to qualify the role sub-element for one or both names. In the case of a named individual, group, or corporate body, the culture sub-element refers to the nationality or culture of the individual, group, or corporate body in the name sub-element. In cases where no identifiable individual, group, or corporate body can be named, creation responsibility is assumed by the culture sub-element. To record the cultural context within which a work, collection, or image was created, independent of the nationality or culture of the creator, use the CULTURAL CONTEXT element (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 3). It is recommended that a controlled vocabulary, such as LCNAF or ULAN, be used whenever possible.

culturalContext

Not required, repeatable

Description: The name of the culture, people (ethnonym), or adjectival form of a country name from which a Work, Collection, or Image originates, or the cultural context with which the Work, Collection, or Image has been associated (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 6). The use of a controlled vocabulary, such as the ULAN Editorial Guidelines Chapter 4.7 Appendix G, Nationalities and Places, AAT, or LCSH is recommended where possible.

date

Not required, repeatable

Attribute: type

Restricted values: alteration, broadcast, bulk, commission, creation, design, destruction, discovery, exhibition, inclusive, performance, publication, restoration, view, other

Sub-elements:

earliestDate

Attribute:circa Restricted values: true, false

latestDate

Attribute: circa

Restricted values: true, false

Description: Date or range of dates associated with the creation, design, production, presentation, performance, construction, or alteration, etc. of the work or image. Dates may be expressed as free text or numerical. The Boolean circa attribute may be added to either sub-element to indicate an approximate date. For image records, the date element refers to the view date, if known (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 7). It is recommended that values be entered according to ISO 8601 standards for data content (http:llwww.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-time.html), i.e. YYYY, YYYY-MM, or YYYY-MM-DD. Dates before the Common Era (BCE or BC) should be entered with a minus sign (−) in the form ‒YYYY, whenever possible.

description

Not required, repeatable

Description: A free-text note about the Work, Collection, or Image, including comments, description, or interpretation, that gives additional information not recorded in other categories. For element-specific notes, use the optional notes sub-element (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 10).

inscription

Not required, repeatable

Sub-elements:

author

position

text

Attribute: type

Restricted values: signature, mark, caption, date, text, translation, other

Description: All marks or written words added to the object at the time of production or in its subsequent history, including signatures, dates, dedications, texts, and colophons, as well as marks, such as the stamps of silversmiths, publishers, or printers. The location of this text or symbol may be specified by the position sub-element. If a translation of the text into the language of the catalog record is also provided, include in a repeated element with the text type of translation (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 11).

location

Not required, repeatable

Attribute: type

Restricted values: creation, discovery, exhibition, formerOwner, formerRepository, formerSite, installation, intended, other, owner, performance, publication, repository, site

Sub-elements:

name

Attribute: type

Restricted values: corporate, geographic, other, personal

refid

Attribute: type

Restricted values: accession, barcode, shelfList, other

Description: The geographic location and/or name of the repository, building, site, or other entity whose boundaries include the Work or Image. Inclusion of a type attribute distinguishes between different kinds of locations, e.g. repository locations, creation locations, discovery locations, etc. The optional extent attribute may also be used here to further specify or disambiguate geographic term types. Note that repository id numbers (museum or private collection accession or inventory numbers), formerly contained in the Core 3 ID Number element, are here mapped to the Location refid sub-element. Inclusion of these alphanumeric strings that pinpoint a particular work within a particular location serves to disambiguate identically titled works by the same artist held by the same repository (e.g. Raphael, “Madonna and Child.”) Repeatable sub-elements allow the inclusion of multiple museum inventory numbers if an object id number has changed over time. For id numbers that are independent of repository, such as catalog raisonne numbers, use the TEXTREF element (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 14). It is recommended that a controlled vocabulary such as TGN, the BHA Index, the Grove Dictionary of Art Location Appendix, or LCSH is used whenever possible.

material

Not required, repeatable

Description: The substance of which a work or an image is composed (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 18). The use of a controlled vocabulary such as AAT is recommended when possible.

measurement

Not required, repeatable

Attribute: type

Restricted values: area, base, bit-depth, circumference, count, depth, diameter, distanceBetween, duration, fileSize, height, length, resolution, runningTime, scale, size, target, weight, width, other

Attribute: unit

Restricted values: Refer to ISO standard for units and measures: http://ts.nist.gov/WeightsAndMeasures/Publications/appxc.cfm. Values should follow standard 2-letter abbreviations without punctuation (Example: cm)

Description: The physical size, shape, scale, dimensions, or format of the Work or Image. Dimensions may include such measurements as volume, weight, area, or running time. If the measurements do not describe the entire work or image, use the extent attribute to specify the part of the work being measured. The unit used in the measurement must be specified (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 19).

relation

Not required, repeatable

Attribute: type

Restricted values: see table below

Attribute: relid

Restricted values: links the XML record to the related work or collection XML record(s) id attribute

Description: Terms or phrases describing the identity of the related work and the relationship between the work being cataloged and the related work or image. Use this element to relate work records to other work or collection records, or image records to work or collection records. If full relational reciprocity is not explicitly recorded in a local database (e.g. only the part to whole relationship is recorded, and not whole to part), it is recommended that the data exporter add the reciprocal value, based on a controlled set of terms (see Table 6.3).

Table 6.3

Restricted values for the relation element

Relationship Type Reciprocal Relationship Type
<general - default>
relatedTo relatedTo
<hierarchical - group/collection/series to parts>
partOf largerContextFor
formerlyPartOf formerlyLargerContextFor
<a work and its components>
componentOf componentIs
partnerInSetWith partnerInSetWith
<works that are related as steps in the creation process>
preparatoryFor basedOn
studyFor studyIs
cartoonFor cartoonIs
modelFor modelIs
planFor planIs
counterProofFor counterProofIs
printingPlateFor printingPlateIs
reliefFor impressionIs
prototypeFor prototypeIs
<works designed to be displayed together>
designedFor contextIs
mateOf mateOf
partnerInSetWith partnerInSetWith
pendantOf pendantOf
exhibitedAt venueFor
<works copied after or depicting other works>
copyAfter copyIs
depicts depictedIn
derivedFrom sourceFor
facsimileOf facsimileIs
replicaOf replicaIs
versionOf versionIs
<work to image relationships>
imageOf imageIs

Source: Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 24.

rights

Not required, repeatable

Attributes: type

Restricted values: copyrighted, publicDomain, undetermined, other

Sub-elements:

rightsHolder

text

Description: Information about the copyright status and the rights holder for a work, collection, or image. The optional notes sub-element may include justifications, conditions, or restraints on use, contact or licensing information, or other intellectual property statements as may be desired. The global href attribute may be used to hold a hypertext link to a website containing rights and/or contact information (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 25).

Use of the Modern Language Association (MLA) rules for bibliographic citation for print sources is recommended when necessary.

source

Not required, repeatable

Sub-elements:

name:

Attributes: type

Restricted values: book, donor, electronic, serial, vendor, other refid:

Attributes: type

Restricted values: citation, ISBN, ISSN, openURL, URI, vendor, other

Description: A reference to the source of the information recorded about the work or the image. For a work record, this may be a citation to the sole source of the information recorded in a catalog record. For an image, it may be used to provide information about the supplying agency, vendor, or individual. In the case of copy photography, it can be used to record a bibliographic citation or other description of the image source. In all cases, names and source identification numbers may be included. If all information recorded about a work, image, or collection comes from a single source, it should be recorded here. However, each individual element of the Core may include a source attribute to reflect an information source pertaining specifically to that element within a work, image, or collection (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 26). MLA rules for bibliographic citation recommended when necessary.

stateEdition

Not required, repeatable

Attribute: type (state, edition, or impression)

Restricted values: state, edition, impression, other

Attribute: num (state number or edition number)

Attribute: count (number of known states, known editions, or number of impression in an edition)

Sub-elements:

name

description

Description: The identifying number and/or name assigned to the state or edition of a work that exists in more than one form and the placement of that work in the context of prior or later issuances of multiples of the same work. For published volumes, such as books, portfolios, series, or sets, the edition is usually expressed as a number in relation to other editions printed. In other cases, a scholar may have identified a series of editions, which have then been numbered sequentially. A state or edition may also be identified by a name or phrase. If the data is derived from a secondary source, such as a catalog raisonne, it should be included in a source attribute (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 27).

stylePeriod

Not required, repeatable

Description: The identifying number and/or name assigned to the state or edition of a work that exists in more than one form and the placement of that work in the context of prior or later issuances of multiples of the same work. For published volumes, such as books, portfolios, series, or sets, the edition is usually expressed as a number in relation to other editions printed. In other cases, a scholar may have identified a series of editions, which have then been numbered sequentially. A state or edition may also be identified by a name or phrase. If the data is derived from a secondary source, such as a catalog raisonné, it should be included in a source attribute (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 29). Use of a controlled vocabulary such as AAT is recommended when possible.

subject

Not required, repeatable

Sub-elements:

Term

Attribute: type

Restricted values:

For names: corporateName, familyName, otherName, personalName, scientificName

For locations: builtworkPlace, geographicPlace, otherPlace

For descriptive, narrative, or thematic content: conceptTopic, descriptiveTopic, iconographicTopic, otherTopic

Description: Terms or phrases that describe, identify, or interpret the Work or Image and what it depicts or expresses. These may include generic terms that describe the work and the elements that it comprises, terms that identify particular people, geographic places, narrative and iconographic themes, or terms that refer to broader concepts or interpretations. Use of a Subject Authority, from which these data values may be derived, is recommended. The global source attribute may be used to isolate local collection or user-supplied terminology that is not controlled by any authority (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 30). The use of a controlled vocabulary such as AAT, TGN, TGM, Iconclass, LCSH, LCNAF, or the Sears Subject Headings is recommended when possible.

technique

Not required, repeatable

Description: The production or manufacturing processes, techniques, and methods incorporated in the fabrication or alteration of the work or image (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 32).

textref

Not required, repeatable

Sub-elements:

name

Attribute: type

Restricted values: book, catalog, corpus, electronic, serial, other refid

Attribute: type

Restricted values: citation, openURL, ISBN, ISSN, URI, vendor, other

Description: Contains the name of a related textual reference and any type of unique identifier that text assigns to a Work or Collection that is independent of any repository. Refid examples include exhibition and catalog raisonné numbers, or identification numbers assigned to works of art in the scholarly literature that are commonly included in scholarly discussion to further identify a work, such as Bartsch or Beazley numbers. The global source attribute may be used to cite a scholarly source from which the number was derived, if the unique identifier was not recorded from the primary source cited in the name sub-element. The global href attribute may be used to contain an actionable hypertext reference to an online source for the cited text or reference identifier (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 33).

title

Not required, repeatable

Attribute: type

Restricted values:

For work title: brandName, cited, creator, descriptive, former, inscribed, owner, popular, repository, translated, other

For image title: generalView, partialView

Description: Contains the name of a related textual reference and any type of unique identifier that text assigns to a Work or Collection that is independent of any repository. Refid examples include exhibition and catalog raisonné numbers, or identification numbers assigned to works of art in the scholarly literature that are commonly included in scholarly discussion to further identify a work, such as Bartsch or Beazley numbers. The global source attribute may be used to cite a scholarly source from which the number was derived, if the unique identifier was not recorded from the primary source cited in the name sub-element. The global href attribute may be used to contain an actionable hypertext reference to an online source for the cited text or reference identifier (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 35).

work type

Not required, repeatable

Definition: Identifies the specific type of WORK, COLLECTION, or IMAGE being described in the record (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 37).

While work type has no restricted values, it is recommended that terms from AAT be used for work and collection type, and that the following terms from AAT are used for i mage type: black-and-white transparency, color transparency (for slides or positive transparencies), black-and-white negative, color negative (for negative transparencies), photographic print (for photographic prints), or digital image.

Global attributes definitions

Global attributes are optional and may be added to any element or sub-element as needed. Definitions are as follows:

 dataDate refers to the date and/or time a particular piece of data was entered.

 extent refers to the part of the work, image or collection being described by the element or sub-element that it modifies.

 href refers to a hypertext reference that provides a link to another electronic resource.

 pref indicates that a particular data value is the preferred value when multiple data values for the same element or sub-element exist.

 refid refers to id numbers or codes coming from the local institution or resource named in the source attribute.

 rules refers to any data content standards used to construct the value recorded in the element (e.g. AACR2, CCO).

 source refers to the local, print, or electronic source from which information is derived for a specific element (e.g. Grove Dictionary of Art). Please note: SOURCE is also used as an element and should be used when you want to record a single print or electronic source for information pertaining to the entire record rather than pertaining to individual elements.

 vocab refers to the controlled vocabulary source from which the term or phrase is recorded (e.g. AAT, LCSH).

 xml:lang refers to the language in which the information is recorded in the system (e.g. English, French) (Visual Resources Association, 2007, p. 1).

Another option for museum and art collection professionals is the CDWA, a product of the AITF, which encouraged dialog between art historians, art repositories, and information providers so that together they could develop guidelines for describing works of art, architecture, groups of objects, and visual and textual surrogates (see Chapter 5).

Example record

See Figure 6.2.

Figure 6.1 Booth of Casey-Ranch, Roswell Apple Show

Figure 6.2 Taos Indian Puebleo, New Mexico

Available information:

 Digitized: September 3, 2003, using Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh, at 8 bits and 300 dpi. Digital image identified by the string “02231282”

 Description: Verso: Taos Indian Pueblo, New Mexico

 Location: Taos, New Mexico

 Date: 30 July 1940 (postmark)

 Photographer’s number: 45

 Notes: Distributed and copyrighted by J. R. Willis, Box 665, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Genuine Curteich-Chicago ‘C. T. Art-Colortone’ Post Card

 Collection Number: Ms0223

 Collection Name: Thomas K. Todsen Photographs

 Physical Description: photocopy and copy negative

 Work refid=“Ms02231282”

 Agent type=“other”: unknown

 Agent:

 Culture: American

 Cultural Context: American

 Date:

 Latest Date circa=“true”:1940

 Description: Image of a pueblo in front of a large hill or mountain. Older database indicates that the verso of the image states that it is a Taos Indian Pueblo in New Mexico, that the item is “Distributed and copyrighted by J. R. Willis, Box 665, Albuquerque, New Mexico,” and that it is a “Genuine Curteich-Chicago ‘C. T. Art-Colortone’ Post Card.”

 Location:

 Name type=“geographic”: Taos (N.M.)

 Location type=“repository”: New Mexico State University Libraries (Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States)

 Material vocab=“AAT”: Photographic prints

 Relation type=“PartOf”: Thomas K. Todsen Photograph Collection

 Relation relid=“Ms 0223”

 Rights type=“copyrighted”: Copyright NMSU Board of Regents, Please send questions to archives@lib.nmsu.edu

 Subject vocab=“LCSH” type=“Geographic Place”: Taos (N.M.)

 Subject vocab=“LCSH” type=“Descriptive Topic”: Pueblo architecture

 Title: Taos Indian Pueblo, New Mexico

 Work type: Photographic Prints

 Imagerefid=“02231282”

 Date type=“creation”: 2003-09-03

 Description: Digitized using Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh, at 8 bits and 300 dpi

 Relation type=“Image of”: Ms02231282

 Technique: Digital imaging

 Title: Digitized image from photograph

 Work type: Digital image

Exercises

Each of the following exercises presents a surrogate of an original work (Figure 6.1, 6.3 and 6.4), held by the New Mexico State University Library, along with the information available to the metadata cataloger. Each image should have an accompanying work and image record. The last exercise may have more than one work record associated with the image record.

Figure 6.3 Cliff dwellings west of Santa Fe, New Mexico

Figure 6.4 La Fonda, the Harvey Hotel at Santa Fe, New Mexico

Exercise 6.1: Unrestricted VRA Core 4.0

Available information (from a Dublin Core description of the digital image):

 Title: Booth of Casey-Ranch, Roswell Apple Show

 Subject: Agricultural exhibitions, Farm produce, Casey Ranch

 Description: Handwritten captions on image read “Booth of Casey-Ranch” and “Winner of 5-Blue-Ribbons, 1 Second + Diploma, Roswell Apple Show. Oct, 5, 6, 7, 1911, copyright 1912 by L.W. Adams.” Image shows a decorative produce display showcasing a variety of produce. Much of the produce is displayed in arranged crates. Identification signs among the crates read “Bellflower”, “Vandi Ver Pippin”, “R.I. Greening”, “Keiffer Pears”, “Apple-Commerce”, “Gano”, and “Blacktwig.”

 Publisher: New Mexico State University Library

 Date Original: 1911-10-05-07

 Date Digital: 2004-01-13

 Type: Still Image

 Format: image/jpeg

 Digitization Specifications: 24 bits, 200 dpi

 Identifier: Ms04500236

 Source: UA0450, mounted photographic print

 Collection: University Archives: Fabian Garcia Papers

 Rights: Copyright, NMSU Board of Regents. Please send questions to: archives@lib.nmsu.edu

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Exercise 6.2: Restricted VRA core

Available information:

 Handwritten caption on item reads “Cliff dwelling west of Santa Fe, N.M., 1923”

 Original image is part of the Leslie K. Goforth Photograph Collection

 The digital image is identified by the string Ms0194016

 Older database indicates that the original was a black and white photographic print

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Exercise 6.3: Work within work

Available information:

 Caption on front reads: “La Fonda, the Harvey Hotel at Santa Fe. After painting by Fred Geary”

 Original image is part of the Thomas K. Todsen Photograph Collection

 The digital copy of the image is identified by the string Ms02230353

 An older database indicates the original is a photomechanical color post card

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Answer key

Exercise 6.1

Booth of Casey-Ranch, Roswell Apple Show

 Work refid=Ms04500236

 Agent: unknown (American)

 Cultural context: American

 Date: 1911–10

 Description: Image of a decorative produce display at the Roswell Apple Show. Display contains arranged crates showcasing a number of different types of apples. Identification signs among the crates read “Bellflower”, “Vandi Ver Pippin”, “R.I. Greening”, “Keiffer Pears”, “Apple-Commerce”, “Gano”, and “Blacktwig.”

 Inscription:

 Position: Bottom left

 Text: Booth of Casey-Ranch

 Inscription:

 Position: Bottom right

 Text: Winner of 5-Blue-Ribbons, 1 Second + Diploma, Roswell Apple Show. Oct, 5, 6, 7, 1911, copyright 1912 by L.W. Adams.

 Location type=“repository”: New Mexico State University Libraries (Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States)

 Location type:

 Geographic: Roswell (N.M.)

 Material: Photographic prints

 Relation:

 Depicts: Booth of Casey Ranch, Roswell Apple show

 Version Is: 04500236

 Rights type=“copyrighted”: Copyright NMSU Board of Regents, Please send questions to archives@lib.nmsu.edu

 Subject:

 Corporate Name: Casey Ranch

 Other Name: Roswell Apple Show

 Descriptive Topic: Agricultural exhibitions

 Descriptive Topic: Farm produce

 Title: Booth of Casey Ranch, Roswell Apple Show

 Work Type: Photographic Prints

 Image refid=“04500236”

 Date type=“creation”: 2004-01-13

 Description: Digitized at 24 bits and 200 dpi

 Relation:

 Image of: Ms04500236

 Title: Digitized image black and white photograph

 Work type: Digital image

Exercise 6.2

Cliff dwellings west of Santa Fe, New Mexico

 Work refid=“Ms01940162”

 Agent type=“other”: unknown

 Agent:

 Culture: American

 Cultural Context: American

 Date type=“creation”: 1923

 Description: Photographic print of cliff dwellings west of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 Inscription:

 Position: Bottom

 Text type=“caption”: Cliff dwelling west of Santa Fe, N.M., 1923

 Location type=“repository”

 Name type=“corporate”: New Mexico State University Libraries (Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States)

 Location type=“site”

 Name type=“geographic”: Santa Fe (N.M.)

 Relation type=“Part Of”: Leslie K. Goforth Photograph Collection

 Relation type=“relid”: Ms 0194

 Rights type=“copyrighted”: Copyright NMSU Board of Regents, Please send questions to archives@lib.nmsu.edu

 Subject:

 Term type=“Descriptive Topic” vocab=“LCSH”: Cliff-dwellings

 Term type=“Geographic Place” vocab=“LCSH”: Santa Fe, New Mexico

 Technique: photography

 Title: Cliff dwellings west of Santa Fe, N.M.

 Work type: photographs

 Image refid=“01940162”

 Relation:

 Image of: Ms01940162

 Title: Digitized image black and white photograph

  Work type: Digital image

Exercise 6.3

La Fonda, the Harvey Hotel at Santa Fe, New Mexico

 Work

 Agent: unknown

 Cultural Context: American

 Date type=“creation”: 1922

 Description: The La Fonda Hotel is located on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on what has been called the oldest hotel corner in America.

 Location type=“site” vocab=“LCSH”:

 Geographic Name: Santa Fe, (N.M.)

 Subject vocab=“LCSH”:

 Corporate Name: La Fonda Hotel

 Descriptive Topic: Hotels—United States

 Subject vocab=“AAT”:

 Descriptive Topic: hotels (public accommodations)

 Workrefid=“02230353”

 Agent type=“personal”: Geary, Fred

 Agent:

 Culture: American

 Cultural Context: American

 Date type=“creation”:

 Earliest Date circa=“true”: 1920

 Latest Date circa=“true”: 1940

 Description: Photomechanical color postcard showing a painting by Fred Geary of the La Fonda Hotel from a nearby intersection

 Inscription:

 Position: Bottom

 Text type=“caption”: H-3977 La Fonda, the Harvey Hotel at Santa Fe, New Mexico. After painting by Fred Geary

 Location type=“repository”:

 Name type=“corporate”: New Mexico State University Libraries (Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States)

 Relation:

 Part Of: Thomas K. Todsen Photograph Collection

 Relid: Ms 0223

 Rights type=“copyrighted”: Copyright NMSU Board of Regents, Please send questions to archives@lib.nmsu.edu

 Subject:

 Corporate Name: La Fonda Hotel

 Corporate Name: Harvey Hotels

 Geographic Place: Santa Fe, New Mexico

 Technique: Photomechanical processes

 Title: La Fonda, the Harvey Hotel at Santa Fe

 Work type: Photomechanical prints

 Image

 Relation:

 Image of: 02230353

 Title: Digitized image from photomechanical postcard

 Work type: Digital image