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"Metadata" means descriptive metadata enables discover, interpret, use, and/or manage content, which can include URI, author's name, content description, etc.

"Metadata scheme documentation," "Metadata guidelines," "Best practice guides," "Data dictionaries," and "Metadata application profiles" refer to the same document that consist of data structure, data content, data value, and data encoding and exchange standards.

"Standard metadata element set" and "Standard metadata scheme" refer to the formal, internationally established scheme, i.e. Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES), Darwin Core (DwC), Visual Resources Association Core (VRA), etc.

"We" mean Virginia Tech University Libraries, Digital Imaging, and/or Special Collections.

Metadata scheme design

General cross-collection metadata element set

For interoperability and aggregation purposes, most of the collections are cataloged based on the generic standard metadata element set - qualified Dublin Core (QDC). There are some collections use other discipline-specific standard schemes (i.e., VRA core) to better cater the specific needs. Nevertheless, all the metadata will eventually be mapped to QDC for this digital library platform and ingested to the DPLA via service hub, Digital Virginias.

Minimal Metadata Requirements

In addition to the QDC that we used as the base of cross-collection metadata element set, we established a set of Minimal Metadata Requirements that is essential for access for materials hosted on this digital library. We referred to the Digital Virginias Hub Metadata Guidelines and Workflows for institutional contributors to the Digital Virginias Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Hub. It includes a list of QDC and Europeana Data Model (edm) elements recommended by DPLA staff and approved by the Digital Virginias Metadata Committee for aggregation and submission to DPLA.

Local/collection specific metadata element sets

Different schemes were used for cataloging the materials hosted on this Site to retain the context of unique collections. In most cases when we are to describe the collection, we will create specific local metadata application profile (MAP) based on the QDC metadata elements. The following are the schemes created pertinent to local collections: