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Data Content Standards

Below is a list of commonly used data content standards with links to more information about each standard. Using a content standard ensures consistency in data entry. Data content standards usually accompany a data structure standard (or metadata scheme).

  • CCO (Cataloging Cultural Objects)
    Sponsored by the Visual Resources Association, this manual is used by professional staff in museum collections, visual resource collections, archives, and art and architecture libraries to describe cultural works and their visual surrogates (for example: paintings, sculptures, prints, manuscripts, photographs, and other visual media).
  • DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
    Used to describe archives, personal papers, and manuscript collections and can be applied to all material types.
  • RDA (Resource Description and Access)
    RDA is a new set of guidelines for resource description and access covering all types of content and media that will replace AACR2 as the standard for cataloging in 2010. See the cataloging content standards webpage for more information about RDA.


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Stay up to date on cataloging news and events by visiting the following resources: