Guidelines for entry of metadata

Metadata typePropertyDescription
Image Numberdc.identifier
An unambiguous reference to the resource within a given context
An alpha numeric text string that serves as the physical location point for an original item
The Archives control number attached to an item
  • Use a hyphen between numbers; do not use brackets, underscore, forward slashes or dots
  • Do not pad numbers out with zeros
  • Put alternative reference numbers in a separate field
  • Multiple images with the same number will be identified by date, and by a unique identifier (handle number) which is system-generated
  • For Tooth & Co Ltd yellow hotel record cards use N60-YC-[box number]
  • Do not use spaces between numbers eg ANUA295-10; Z435-86
Alternate Image Numberdc.identifier.other
Records alternate reference number, as applicable
  • Several photographs have alternative reference numbers - usually numbers beginning with a K prefix (eg E165-3A is now K2427)
  • Record E165-3A as the Image Number and K2427 as the Alternate Image Number
Indicates that a resource is part of smaller group within a collection, e.g. an album, a series of hotel record cards, an envelope of photographs
  • This is not a mandatory field
  • NBAC - if photographs are part of a series use the series name as shown on the collection list. For example: 'Broadwater Mill photographs', 'Head Office albums – Childers', etc.
  • NBAC - standard text already in use to show relationship are

'From an album of photographs of land in Western Australia, taken between 1890 and 1902'; 'Tooth & Company Limited Pictorial Collection - photographs of interiors of hotels in New South Wales, taken during the 1930s and 1940s', 'Tooth & Company Limited's yellow hotel record cards'

  • ANUA - use series title to show relationship. For example: 'Albums of photographs of the ANU campus' (for ANUA12), 'Album of promotional photographs' (for ANUA13), 'Envelopes of photographs, 1948-1974' (for ANUA15), 'Aerial and other non-standard photographs' (for ANUA16), 'University Records: staff files, 1946- (for ANUA19), 'University Records: correspondence files, 1950-2000' (for ANUA53), 'Photographs: people and subjects A-Z' (for ANUA225, 226)
  • Record context/provenance in sentence case except for proper nouns
A collection may be identified as an organisation/company or individual and is the organisation/company or individual responsible for the accumulation and maintenance of the records before their transfer to the Archives
  • Use name of organisation, business, person from NBAC List of Holdings or ANUA List of Holdings by Organisational Unit/Person (Creator)
  • Include division or branch. For example: Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, Ballarat District
  • Use Australian National University photographs for ANUA12, ANUA13, ANUA15, ANUA16, ANUA19, ANUA53, ANUA225, ANUA226, recording the corresponding series name in the SERIES field
  • Record name of organisation/business at the date the record was created, as far as is practicable. For example: Amalgamated Timber Workers' Union of Australia not CFMEU
  • Record the name in its standardised form; do not use abbreviations
  • See for union name changes
Metadata typePropertyDescription

A name given to the resource

  • Use the title given in the collection list
  • If a photograph is titled by the photographer or commissioning agency, use this title
  • If no title is available, create a short, succinct title based on the content of the resource and/or its context
  • Do not put created titles in brackets or quotation marks
  • Spell out acronyms (whenever possible)
  • Add additional information in DESCRIPTION
A date associated with an event in the life cycle of the resource
  • The date associated with the creation of the resource.
  • Use format 21 Feb 2001; if the full date is unknown, month and year (Feb 2001) or just year (2001) may be used
  • Employ 'best guess'/'circa 1950s' rather than recording no date at all
Resource Typedc.type
The nature or genre of the content of the resource.
  • Select
  • image
  • physical object
  • sound OR
  • text
  • To describe the physical or digital manifestation of the resource, use FORMAT element
The topic of the content of the resource; expressed as keywords.
  • Controlled vocabulary guided by Australian Pictorial Thesaurus (APT) and commonly-used thesaurus terms and lists of occupations and industries at Y:\Archives\Private\Thesauri
  • Use lower case, except for proper names of persons, places, buildings, events, etc.
  • Avoid using very broad terms that provide little assistance for someone trying to find an item; use terms appropriate to the breadth of the subject
  • This field complements, not repeats, DESCRIPTION or TITLE

Names as Subjects

  • Controlled vocabulary guided by the List of Holdings, ATUA, Australian Dictionary of Biography and NLA Trove
  • Enter personal names as surname or family name followed by given name(s). For example: Smith, William
  • Enter birth and death dates after personal names and business and trade union titles. For example: Smith, William (1890-1980) and Seamen's Union of Australia (1943-1993)
Metadata typePropertyDescription
The spatial or temporal topic of the resource, the spatial applicability of the resource, or the jurisdiction under which the resource is relevant

street number, street name, suburb/town, state (in full) OR
suburb/town, state (in full) OR
state (in full)

  • Variations may include western suburbs of Sydney, central coast of New South Wales, etc
  • Use Canberra, Australian Capital Territory for photographs taken on the ANU campus
The physical or digital manifestation of the resource.
  • Controlled vocabulary (inhouse)
  • banner
  • card
  • ticket
  • certificate
  • chart
  • document
  • drawing
  • electronic resource – text
  • electronic resource – image
  • electronic resource – sound
  • film
  • lithograph
  • map
  • negative
  • painting
  • photograph
  • plan
  • poster
  • print
  • sound recording
  • video recording
  • CD-ROM
  • DVD
Records the colour of the resource
  • Controlled vocabulary (inhouse)
  • b&w
  • colour
  • one colour
  • sepia  
Metadata typePropertyDescription
Records the dimensions of the resource. Examples of dimensions include size and duration.

Textual items: -

  • Record as height x width in cms (determined by the view, either landscape or portrait) of the resource. For example: 9.5cm x 15cm
  • Round to nearest 0.5cm
  • If resource is mounted give measurements of resource only

Audiovisual items: -

  • Record duration as [x]hr [x]min OR [x]min [x]sec
  • Record as a ratio eg 1:20,000
  • Include the word 'Scale' e.g. Scale 1:20,000
  • On older maps the scale may be shown in words ('one inch equals one mile'; 'one mile to one inch' or '16 chains to 1 inch') or on a scale bar. Example: [Sectional map] 1:63,360 or 1 mile to an inch; 1:126,720 or 2 miles to an inch. To convert scale to a metric ratio see document at X:\Archives\Private\Collection\Maps\Map scale.doc
Entity primarily responsible for the content of the resource; entity responsible for making the resource available
  • Controlled vocabulary guided by the List of Holdings, ATUA, Australian Dictionary of Biography and NLA Trove
  • For display purposes do not enter Author's Role separately. Rather, enter data as one string - 'role of author: given name(s), surname or family name (birth and death dates, if known)'. For example: Photographer:WilliamSmith (1890-1980) or Lithographer: J Allan, Sydney, NSW
  • If the document is produced by an individual on behalf of an organisation, then both the individual and organisation should be entered. For example: enter Photographer: Cheng Voon, ANU Photographic Services
  • If no other information can be found and the resource is part of an official organisational site, use the name of this organisation as the creator. For example: Photographer:The Herald & Weekly Times Ltd, Melbourne
  • If no information is available, use Photographer: not known
A language of the intellectual content of the resource.
  • ISO 639-2 - standard code for the representation of names of languages and countries (Library of Congress). For example: en_AU
  • Select English (Australian) from drop-down list - en_AU will display on final record.  
Metadata typePropertyDescription
Information about rights held in and over the resource.
Information affecting the broadcast, transmission, reproduction or publication of the described resource
  • Use standard entry:

'This image is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced without the prior permission of the Archives Program, Australian National University.'

Provides a statement on the copyright status of the resource 
  • Where the author of the record/image owns the copyright, use this author's name. If the image is produced by an individual on behalf of an organisation (for example, ANU), use this organisation's name as the copyright holder
  • Photographs taken from 1 Jan 1955 remain in copyright for 70 years from the end of the year in which the photographer died
  • Photographs taken prior to 1 Jan 1955 are clear of copyright restrictions and are considered to be in the public domain. Use 'copyright expired' (all lower case)
Reproduction Notedc.publisher
Credit the published source where the resource is not an 'original'
  • When the resource has already been published, use the format in a string as follows: Reproduced from ACTU Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 2, Jul 1954, p. 1
  • Do not use Date of Issue (in the Open Research repository), as this field does not display for ANUA/NBAC entries
An account of the content of the resource
  • Provide a brief outline of the content of the resource.
  • Provide objective information about the resource, not an evaluation or a review
  • Highlight any significant aspects of the resource including names of buildings, people, etc not used in TITLE
  • Use searchable keywords; avoid repeating terms used in other fields
  • Complements, not repeats, TITLE
  • Use an abstract or other structured description included within the resource, if available, such as captioning written on the back of a photograph (but do not include quotation marks)
  •  Limit to less than 255 characters
  • In describing maps use cartographic terms such as

cadastral (land ownership)
topographic (relief features, contours)
hydrographic (navigable shipping routes through water)
survey (mining)
topological (a very general kind of map)
parish, county or government survey (equivalent to the English ordnance survey map)

Metadata typePropertyDescription
Provides information that cannot be accommodated in any of the other fields
  • Include any identifying features (not recorded in TITLE or DESCRIPTION) from the back (or the front) of the resource described. For example:  batch/mounting/album number, etc.
  • Include condition of the item (if significant)
  • Explain the provenance of born digital items 'Originally located at [web address]' or 'Archived from [web address]'
  • Add any additional information. For example: 'For more information see A Tapestry of Australia: The Sydney Wharfies Mural by Andrew Reeves'
  • Use to acknowledge the source, as has been requested by some depositors. For example:' Provided with the permission of the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council. E: balltlc[at]'



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