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Data content standards are guidelines that instruct staff on how to input data into elements of the metadata scheme. For example, a content standard may instruct on how to compose an original title, or how to use or not use abbreviations. Using a content standard ensures consistency in data entry. Below is a list of commonly used data content standards with links to more information about each standard. 

  • CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices Version 2.1
    Originally created by the Collaborative Digitization Program at the University of Denver. While less formal than the other data content standards below, this best practice guide is still widely used by consortia, and many created their own guidelines based on this document. The Minnesota Digital Library originally derived their own local Metadata Entry Guidelines from this document.
  • 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 was developed as a new set of guidelines for describing and providing access to resources covering all types of content and media. It replaced the second edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) as the standard for cataloging. See the cataloging content standards webpage for more information about RDA.