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OSU Library Metadata: A Guideline to Best Practices: Type

This site provides guidelines for OSU's local implementation of CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices Version 2.1.1


Label: Type
Maps to Dublin Core Element Name: Type
Maps to MARC field (in World Cat): 3XX, 655
Mandatory: Yes, required
Repeatable: Yes
          Refinements: TypeGenre

Scheme Name Scheme Label Comments
DCMIType DCMI Type Vocabulary Use for Type. Do not use for Type Genre



Dublin Core Definition: Type

The nature or genre of the content of the resource.

Comment/Context: Type

Type includes terms describing general categories, functions, genres, or aggregation levels for content. Select a value from the DCMI Type Vocabulary [DCMITYPE]).

The DCMI Type vocabulary (e.g., text, sound, still image) is broad in describing the type of resource. It is an optional recommendation to include the Genre refinement from a controlled vocabulary (see recommended list noted below) as a separate element in addition to  the required Type element to bring out the specific nature of the material. For example, a diary would use the term “Text” (DCMI Type Vocabulary) and the Genre term would be “Diaries” (a controlled vocabulary term from the Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)).

Other examples of AAT genre terms: Photographs, Postcards, Yearbooks, Correspondence and Lantern slides.

Label Scheme Name
AAT Art and Architecture Thesaurus
GMGPC Thesaurus for Graphic Materials: TCM II, Genre and Physical Characteristics
LCTGM Thesaurus for Graphic Materials: TGM I, Subject Terms
Local Locally controlled list of terms
FAST Facet Application of Subject Terminology


Input Guidelines: Type

Use separate Type elements if adding both a “type of resource” and the “type of genre.” Some digital objects may involve more than one type (e.g., a manuscript collection may have text, image, sound, and interactive component). Enter multiple types in one element. Clearly separate each entry by a semicolon followed by a space (; ) within an element.


  1. To describe the physical or digital manifestation of the resource, use the Format element.
  2. Note that digital representations of three-dimensional objects should use the designations “Image,” “Text,” or one of the other types from the DCMI Type Vocabulary. Use of the term “Physical Object” is limited to databases of only (scanned or specific) physical objects, not their digital surrogates.
  3. In 2003, DCMI recommended the use of the narrower terms “Still Image” or “Moving Image” in addition to the broader term “Image.”

Examples: Type Vocabulary

  •  Collection—A collection is described as a group; its parts may also be separately described.
  •  Dataset— Data encoded in a defined structure. Examples include lists, tables, and databases. A dataset may be useful for direct machine processing.
  • Event— Metadata for an event provides descriptive information that is the basis for discovery of the purpose, location, duration, and responsible agents associated with an event. Examples include an exhibition, webcast, conference, workshop, open day, performance, battle, trial, wedding, tea party, and conflagration.
  •  Interactive Resource— A resource requiring interaction from the user to be understood, executed, or experienced. Examples include forms on Web pages, applets, multimedia learning objects, chat services, or virtual reality environments.
  •  Moving Image—Examples include animations, movies, television programs, videos, zoetropes, or visual output from a simulation. Instances of the type Moving Image must also be describable as instances of the broader type Image.
  • Physical Object— For digital images of physical objects (i.e., objects scanned or photographed specifically for inclusion in Delaware Heritage), enter as “physical object.”
  •  Service— Examples include a photocopying service, a banking service, an authentication service, interlibrary loans, a Z39.50 or Web server.
  • Software— A computer program in source or compiled form. Examples include a C source file, MS-Windows .exe executable, or Perl script.
  • Sound—Examples include oral histories, musical performances, environmental sounds, and field recordings of insects, birds and the like.
  • Still Image—Examples include images and photographs of physical objects, paintings, prints, drawings, other images and graphics, animations and moving pictures, film, diagrams, maps, musical notation. Note that Image may include both electronic and physical representations.
  • Text— A resource consisting primarily of words for reading. Examples include books, letters, dissertations, poems, transcripts, newspapers, articles, archives of mailing lists. Note that facsimiles or images of texts are still of the genre Text.