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The Library of Congress has been involved in an effort to develop institution-wide policies and standards for metadata pertaining to its digital content.

Over the years the Library of Congress' digital projects have generated many digital objects and these objects have been given various levels and types of descriptive metadata. The Library has assembled several use cases that require a more coordinated and standardized approach to the creation and management of this descriptive metadata.  A few examples of use cases are:

  *Geographic navigation of Library of Congress digital content
  * Temporal navigation of Library of Congress digital content
  * Exchange video and audio data with external services

Metadata of varying degrees of richness is necessary to support the use cases. 

As part of this effort an institution-wide working group was established that includes representation from the Office of Strategic Initiatives, Library Services, the Copyright Office and the Law Library. The Metadata for Digital Content Working Group is making the following available for use by any interested institutions:

  * A master metadata element list with recommendations on best practices for populating the elements to provide more consistency of new metadata creation throughout the institution, support the Library of Congress metadata use cases, and point to areas where metadata remediation of current metadata might be beneficial.

  * Profiles that draw from the master list for specific applications or projects. Currently available are profiles for American Memory, Performing Arts Encyclopedia, and LC Web Archives.

Additional profiles will be added in the new future.

Information on this effort is available at:
http://www.loc.gov/standards/mdc/


Rebecca S. Guenther                                                       
Senior Networking and Standards Specialist                  
Network Development and MARC Standards Office     
Library of Congress   
101 Independence Ave. SE                                                                                      
Washington, DC 20540-4402                                          
(202) 707-5092 (voice)    
(202) 707-0115 (FAX)           
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