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And now, the moment you've been waiting for:

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A Beta version of the Metadata Encoding & Transmission Standard
(METS) XML schema is now available from the official METS web site:

           http://www.loc.gov/standards/mets/

METS provides an XML-based framework for encoding descriptive,
administrative, and structural metadata for a digital library
object. It can be used both as a standardized mechanism for
exchanging digital library objects between repositories, and
as an encoding mechanism for local storage, retrieval and
display of digital library objects. METS has been developed
as an initiatve of the Digital Library Federation
(http://www.clir.org/diblib/) and is being maintained in
the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library
of Congress (http://lcweb.loc.gov/marc/ndmso.html).

This is a Beta release of the METS schema. Input from the
library community regarding the design of the METS schema
is encouraged. Comments regarding METS' design should be
submitted to the METS listserv; details about subscribing
to the listserv are available at the METS web site.
A meeting of the METS initiative design group to discuss
revisions to the XML schema based on input from the
community has been tentatively scheduled for September, 2001.
Comments regarding the METS schema should be posted to the
listserv prior to the end of August so that they can be
reviewed by the design group prior to that meeting.

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Please feel free to spread the word outside the list.  I'm working on an
example
document, as are some others, which I'll try to get up to the web site in short
order.  If anyone has any suggestions about improving the web site, please
pass them along to me.  Please also start trying out the schema and posting
problems (and/or successes) to the METS list, so I can start compiling
a list of possible changes to make to the Beta.

I'd like to give a special tip of the hat to Morgan Cundiff at LC for
getting the
web site up and running.

Finally, a huge thanks to all of you for the help you've contributed to
this.  There is
still obviously work to be done, but I think the METS schema as it stands
is a big
step forward for the community and something that can make a valuable addition
to our work.




Jerome McDonough
[log in to unmask]
Digital Library Development Team Leader
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2425