I would like to suggest the creation of a new MODS element, which could
contain (or have an attribute containing) a URI pointing to a (scanned or
born-digital) image of the front cover of books (or other items) described
in MODS elements. Even other attributes could be really useful.
A possible design could be something similar to:
imageLicenseURI="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt" colorGrid="fff fff fff
fff f00 fff 0f0 0f0 0f0"
if we choose to use an empty element with all information in attributes.
@imageURI contains the URI of the cover image.
@imageLicenseURI contains the URI of the license applying to the cover
image. Such information could also be included using RDF.
@colorGrid contains a space separated list of the nine hexadecimal encoded
average colors of each of the nine parts of the 3x3 grid covering the (book)
cover. In the example above, the top of the cover is white, the bottom of
the cover is green whereas the middle part of the cover is red with white
fields both on the left side and the right side. Putting such information in
MODS records would highly facilitate and speed up cover-color based
retrieval of items, without the need for an extra HTTP request to retrieve
the whole image and the following rework of the image information to make
the cover colors searchable. Standardizing such a functionality would
I consider that such functionality can not appropriately be included in MODS
elements such as "physicalDescription", "relatedItem", "note" or any other
element available within today's MODS Schema version 3.4.
Of course, similar functionality was not introduced in MaRC by Henriette
Avram and we could question whether my suggestion can be considered being
within the scope of what MODS intends to accomplish and the traditions
behind MODS. Had this suggestion been technically feasible in the 1960'ies,
it is not unplausible that it would have been introduced in MaRC then, I