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Prepare a metadata file

Metadata Overview

Now that your media files have been uploaded, it's time to prepare a metadata file to provide information about your items. This will make it possible for users to find and discover the content on your site.

You can provide data in a number of formats, but we highly recommend the standard CSV format in most cases.

CI Cultural Institute website partners: you may be required to use a particular format. Please discuss the options with your contact at the Google Cultural Institute.

Format-specific instructions are provided for:

CSV (Recommended)      XML      Art Project

Provide metadata in a CSV file

Overview

If you do not currently have a spreadsheet for your metadata, we encourage you to use one of the Google Sheets templates to help you get started.

For each item to uploaded, you should fill in one or more rows with metadata describing the item. Each row should contain a unique item id, title, description and metadata describing its digitizations. Some fields are required, while others are recommended or optional.

Simple example

Here's a simple example of how CSV metadata for 3 items would look in a spreadsheet:

itemid title description creator filetype filespec
p1 George Washington The first president of the United States Sam Jones image george1.jpg
p2 John Adams The second president of the United States Jeff Ross image john1.jpg
p3 Thomas Jefferson The third president of the United States A. Richardson image thomas1.jpg

If you have multiple digitizations for the same item, then you should include these as subitems.

Each item and subitem must be identified by a unique and long lived identifier (ID). Once an item or subitem is assigned an ID, it must not change. We recommend you set the ID to an original unique identifier from your own system, or a URI uniquely representing the item.

 

Templates & Examples

To help get you started, below are templates and prefilled examples of CSV files. These files will open in Google Sheets; if you are unfamiliar with Google Sheets, learn how to make copy of the files and begin entering your own metadata.

Templates Basic (blank)
Complete (blank)
Examples Basic (filled with sample data)
Complete (filled with sample data)

CSV metadata file specification

Required fields

Although not all fields are required, we recommend you submit as much detailed and comprehensive information as you have available. Doing so will make your content easier for users to find and the rich, contextual data will also enhance the overall browsing experience of your content. The following fields are required and values should be provided for each item included your metadata file:

Item ID   [itemid]
Definition

A unique identifier for the item.

  • Required
  • Ensure Item IDs refer to the same unique item when providing future updates
  • Items with multiple digitizations should all specify the same unique Item ID
  • Example values:
    • 0001
    • p314
    • http://example.com/item/217
Example
... itemid ...
... p314 ...
Title   [title]
Definition

A short title for the item.

  • Required
  • Translation possible
  • Maximum 100 characters
  • For subitems this is a recommended field
Example
... title ...
... Photograph of Mount Olympus ...
File Name   [filespec]
Definition

Either image filename or YouTube video ID.

  • Required
  • Leave this blank for items with multiple digitizations
  • Example values:
    • img46692.jpg
    • q-TxebxUD54
Example
... filespec ...
... img46692.jpg ...
File Type   [filetype]
Definition

Describes the type of file.

  • Required
  • Must contain one of the following values:
    • image
    • video
    • sequence
  • For items with multiple digitizations, please use 'sequence'.
Example
... filetype ...
... image ...

 

Recommended fields

Creator   [creator]
Definition

Creator of item such as the author, painter, or photographer.

Example
... creator ...
... Pablo Picasso ...
Date Created   [dateCreated]
Definition

Date an item was created, such as when a painting was painted.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Will appear next to the title
  • Both start and end date fields must be included in order to display a date range
  • Accepted format: YYYY, YYYY-MM-DD, or YYYY-MM
  • A textual display date can be provided if appropriate
  • Example values:
    • 1889
    • 1889-06
    • 1889-09-28
  • Subattributes:
    • start: Date or start date
    • end: Optional, end date of a date range. If used the date range will be displayed.
    • display: Optional, text to display instead of date value (Translations can be provided)
Example
... dateCreated:start dateCreated:end dateCreated:display ...
... 1889-01 1905-12 c. 1889 - c. 1905 ...
Description   [description]
Definition

A lengthier description of the item.

Example
... description ...
... This photograph shows the snow-capped peak of Mount Olympus ...
Physical Dimensions   [format]
Definition

Physical dimensions of the object.

Example
... format ...
... 30cm x 48.5cm ...
Location   [location]
Definition

Name of the primary physical location for the item, such as the location where a photograph was taken.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Will appear next to the title
  • Provide the placename as a minimum
  • Longitude and latitude can be specified optionally
  • Subattributes:
    • placename: Location for the item, such as the location where a photograph was taken. This text appears in the item details. (Translations can be provided)
    • lat: Optional, latitude of location. If used, also provide longitude.
    • long: Optional, longitude of location. If used, also provide latitude.
Example
... location:placename location:lat location:long ...
... Mount Olympus, Greece 40.085556 22.358611 ...
Medium   [medium]
Definition

Material or form used by the artist/creator.

Example
... medium ...
... Oil on Canvas ...
Type   [type]
Definition

Physical or material type of the item.

Example
... type ...
... Document ...

 

Optional fields

Contributor   [contributor]
Definition

A person or organization that contributed to the creation of the item.

Example
... contributor ...
... Royal Academy of Arts ...
Date   [date]
Definition

Date or date range for the item. For example, the date the photograph was taken or the start date of the period a document was written.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Will appear next to the title
  • Both start and end date fields must be included in order to display a date range
  • Accepted date formats: YYYY, YYYY-MM-DD, or YYYY-MM
  • A textual display date can be provided if appropriate
  • Example values:
    • 1889
    • 1889-06
    • 1889-09-28
  • Subattributes:
    • start: Date or start date
    • end: Optional, end date of a date range. If used the date range will be displayed.
    • display: Optional, text to display instead of date value (Translations can be provided)
Example
... date:start date:end date:display ...
... 1889-01 1905-12 c. 1889 - c. 1905 ...
Date Published   [datePublished]
Definition

Date the item was published, such as a book.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Both start and end date fields must be included in order to display a date range
  • Accepted format: YYYY, YYYY-MM-DD, or YYYY-MM
  • A textual display date can be provided if appropriate
  • Example values:
    • 1889
    • 1889-06
    • 1889-09-28
  • Subattributes:
    • start: Date or start date
    • end: Optional, end date of a date range. If used the date range will be displayed.
    • display: Optional, text to display instead of date value (Translations can be provided)
Example
... datePublished:start datePublished:end datePublished:display ...
... 1889-01 1905-12 c. 1889 - c. 1905 ...
Location Created   [locationCreated]
Definition

Name of the primary physical location for the item, such as the location where a photograph was taken.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Will appear in the details
  • Subattributes:
    • placename: Location for the item, such as the location where a photograph was taken. This text appears in the item details. (Translations can be provided)
    • lat: Optional, latitude of location. If used, also provide longitude.
    • long: Optional, longitude of location. If used, also provide latitude.
Example
... locationCreated:placename locationCreated:lat locationCreated:long ...
... Mount Olympus, Greece 40.085556 22.358611 ...
Original Language   [language]
Definition

Language of the material (as opposed to the language of the metadata text).

Example
... language ...
... French ...
Original Source   [originalSource]
Definition

Should only be used if the item’s original source is different than the organization publishing the item and is used to provide attribution.

  • Subattributes:
    • url: URL of link
    • text: Optional, text to display as link (Translations can be provided)
Example
... originalSource:url originalSource:text ...
... http://www.example.com Example Museum of Fine Art ...
Provenance   [provenance]
Definition

Description of provenance of object.

Example
... provenance ...
... Acquired by the foundation of culture preservation ...
Publisher   [publisher]
Definition

A person or an organization responsible for publishing the item.

Example
... publisher ...
... News International ...
External Link   [relation]
Definition

To be used to provide a link to back to the institution's webpage for the item.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • These links are only visible when the item details panel is expanded
  • Subattributes:
    • url: URL of link
    • text: Optional, text to display as link (Translations can be provided)
Example
... relation:url relation:text ...
... http://www.example.com Example Museum of Fine Art ...
Rights   [rights]
Definition

A statement about the various property rights associated with the item, including intellectual property rights.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Example: a copyright statement
  • May be used for either a textual statement or a URL pointing to a rights statement, or a combination
  • Example values:
    • Copyright Acme 1999 - All rights reserved.
    • http://example.org/static/terms
Example
... rights ...
... Copyright Acme 1999 - All rights reserved. ...
Subject Keywords   [subject]
Definition

Free text field for keywords representing topic of item.

Example
... subject ...
... Berlin Wall ...
Transcript   [transcript]
Definition

Transcript of any text in the image or video.

Example
... transcript ...
... This is some text that was seen in a painting ...

 

Custom fields

Use custom metadata fields to provide metadata that is not already defined by any of the fields described above. Include a label to reference the custom metadata you are providing. This is demonstrated in the examples below.

After uploading custom metadata, you will see the Custom properties  Custom properties menu item in the content manager. This allows you to specifiy display names for each of the labels you have given to your custom metadata.

Custom Text   [customtext]
Definition

To be used if there is additional metadata you would like to provide.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Example: to explicitly include the name of a photographer, use a 'photographer' label
Example
... customtext:label ...
... Anna Atkins ...
Custom Location   [customlocation]
Definition

To be used if there is additional location metadata you would like to provide.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Example: to explicitly include the location of discovery, use a label like 'discovery'
  • Subattributes:
    • placename: Location for the item, such as the location where a photograph was taken. This text appears in the item details. (Translations can be provided)
    • lat: Optional, latitude of location. If used, also provide longitude.
    • long: Optional, longitude of location. If used, also provide latitude.
Example
... customlocation:label:placename customlocation:label:lat customlocation:label:long ...
... Mount Olympus, Greece 40.085556 22.358611 ...
Custom Date   [customdate]
Definition

To be used if there is additional custom date fields you would like to provide.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Example: to explicitly include the date of discovery, use a label like 'discovery'
  • Both start and end date fields must be included in order to display a date range
  • Accepted format: YYYY, YYYY-MM-DD, or YYYY-MM
  • A textual display date can be provided if appropriate
  • Subattributes:
    • start: Date or start date
    • end: Optional, end date of a date range. If used the date range will be displayed.
    • display: Optional, text to display instead of date value (Translations can be provided)
Example
... customdate:label:start customdate:label:end customdate:label:display ...
... 1889-01 1905-12 c. 1889 - c. 1905 ...
Custom URL   [customlink]
Definition

To be used if there is additional URL you would like to provide.

  • Multiple values possible
  • Translation possible
  • Example: to explicitly include a wikipedia link, use a label like 'wikipedia'
  • Subattributes:
    • url: URL of link
    • text: Optional, text to display as link (Translations can be provided)
Example
... customlink:label:url customlink:label:text ...
... http://www.example.com Example Museum of Fine Art ...

 

Providing multiple values

Many of the fields listed above permit more that one value, for example it's possible to list two creators for the same artwork.

To add additional values for the same field, add #n after the field name in the header row, were n is a numerical digit.

Example
... creator#0 creator#1 creator#2 ...
... John Doe Sam Smith Jane Doe ...

 

For metadata fields with subattributes, include the #n after the subattribute. For example:
dateCreated:start#0
If a you are providing translations for an attribute, include the #n before the language code. For example:
creator#0/en

 

Translating values

All text based metadata fields can be provided in multiple languages. If no language is specified in the header, English is assumed.

To add a translation for a particular field, add /lang after the corresponding field name in the header row, where lang is the two-digit BCP 47 language code.

Example
... title/en title/fr title/ja ...
... Mona Lisa La Joconde モナ・リザ ...

 

For metadata fields with subattributes, include the language code after the subattribute. For example:
location:placename/en
If a you are providing multiple values for an attribute, include the language code after the #n. For example:
creator#0/en
Common language codes
Language Language Code
Afrikaans af
Albanian sq
Arabic ar
Azerbaijani az
Basque eu
Bengali bn
Belarusian be
Bulgarian bg
Catalan ca
Chinese (simplified) zh-CN
Chinese (traditional) zh-TW
Croatian hr
Czech cs
Danish da
Dutch nl
English en
Esperanto eo
Estonian et
Filipino tl
Finnish fi
French fr
Galician gl
Georgian ka
German de
Greek el
Gujarati gu
Haitian Creole ht
Hebrew iw
Hindi hi
Hungarian hu
Icelandic is
Indonesian id
Irish ga
Italian it
Japanese ja
Kannada kn
Korean ko
Latin la
Latvian lv
Lithuanian lt
Macedonian mk
Malay ms
Maltese mt
Norwegian no
Persian fa
Polish pl
Portuguese pt
Romanian ro
Russian ru
Serbian sr
Slovak sk
Slovenian sl
Spanish es
Swahili sw
Swedish sv
Tamil ta
Telugu te
Thai th
Turkish tr
Ukrainian uk
Urdu ur
Vietnamese vi
Welsh cy
Yiddish yi

 

Items with multiple digitizations

Subitems represent a digitization of part of a real world object, such as a page of a book, or a scan of one side of a document. You will need to submit metadata for both the top level item (the document) and for each subitem that represents an individual page or image of that document, for example.

Please follow these guidelines when structuring metadata for items with multiple digitizations:

  • Each subitem should be submitted in a separate row
  • All subitems and the top level item should share the same unique item id
  • For the parent item, set the filetype to sequence and leave the filespec empty
  • The rows for subitems should specify a unique subitemid, meaning that it should not be repeated under the corresponding top level item
  • The rows for subitems should also specify an orderid with an integer (1,2,3...) denoting the order of subitems within the top level item
Subitem ID   [subitemid]
Definition

Only required if submitting items with multiple digitizations.

  • Each subitem row must have the same Item ID
  • Each subitem must have a unique Subitem ID for a given item which neither conflicts with other Subitem IDs or Item IDs
  • Example values:
    • 0001-a
    • p314.1
    • http://example.com/item/217-1
Example
... subitemid ...
... p314.1 ...
Order ID   [orderid]
Definition

An index used to denote the order of subitems within a top level item.

  • If omitted subitems could appear in a random order when viewing an item
  • Example values:
    • 1
    • 2
    • 8
Example
... orderid ...
... 1 ...
Example
itemid subitemid orderid title description filetype filespec
d1     Legal document Two-sided document containing two images sequence  
d1 d1.1 1 Page 1 Scan of front side image pic1.jpg
d1 d1.2 2 Page 2 Scan of back side image pic2.jpg

The table above demonstrates how to provide metadata for a document containing 2 images.

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