Prepare a metadata file (Google Sheets)

Provide metadata in a Google Sheet


Providing your item metadata within a Google Sheet is the recommended format. This ensures your data is stored in a secure and readily accessible location. 

Each row will contain all the available metadata you have for a single item. There are some mandatory fields that need to be included to upload items. We also have a number of recommended and optional fields we advise you to populate, if you have that information available. 

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, you will be unable to change it.


Templates & Examples

To help get you started, below are templates and prefilled examples of Google Sheets.

General CSV
Fashion CSV
Inventions and Discoveries CSV


Create your Google Sheet

  1. Choose the template most suitable for your needs, it will open in Google Sheets

  2. Select File > Make a Copy

  3. Add a name for your copy and click OK, it will open in a new browser tab. All changes you make in this spreadsheet will be saved automatically to your Google Drive. 

  4. Following the guidelines in the header row of your spreadsheet, complete one row of information for each item you have uploaded

  5. Add additional fields if necessary, by inserting new columns. Your Sheet should only contain one tab


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