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Recommended Fields Formatting Requirements

Recommended Fields

The following fields – Language, Date, Place, Subject and Type – are recommended fields and should be filled out as follows.

Language dcterms:language Recommended, can be multiple. Language(s) of described resources. See Appendix A for controlled vocabulary.

If possible, use the spelled out title of the described resource’s language (e.g. English, Spanish). If using language codes, use the three-digit codes found here. Note: DPLA doesn’t use the three-digit code ger for German. The code is deu for Deutsch.

Date dc:date Recommended, can be multiple. Date value as supplied by data provider.

DPLA can transform dates in a variety of formats, as listed below. Note: If you’re sending the full date/time pattern such as “2009-06-15T13:45:30,” we’ll use XSLT to remove the timestamp.

  • 1992
  • 1992-12-01
  • 1992-12
  • 12-1992
  • 12-01-1992
  • 12.01.1992
  • 12/01/1992
  • 1992-12-01?
  • 1992-12-01~
  • 1992-12-uu
  • 1992.12.01
  • 1992.12
  • 1992?
  • circa 1992
  • ca 1992
  • c 1992
  • ca. 1992
  • c. 1992
  • 1992/1993
  • 199x
  • 19—
  • [1992]
  • 1990s
  • late 1990s
  • 199-
  • Dec 1992
  • Dec 01 1992
  • Dec 01, 1992
Place dcterms:spatial Recommended, can be multiple. Spatial characteristics of described resource, such as country, city, region, address or other geographical term. Captures aboutness.

DPLA provides location enhancements for the API interfaces for the information in the dcterms:spatial field. Due to this location enhancement, the location information in the dcterms:spatial field must refer to a geographic place name. Names such as building names, neighborhoods, or landmarks can’t be accepted.

In order for DPLA to work correctly, the hierarchical place names must be listed in ascending order. See the examples below for the correct ordered places.

  • <dcterms:spatial>Erie, Pennsylvania</dcterms:spatial>
  • <dcterms:spatial>Toledo—Ohio—United States </dcterms:spatial>
  • <dcterms:spatial>Erie, Pennsylvania</dcterms:spatial>

In the following examples, the terms are listed in descending order. Currently the DPLA enhancement software is unable to properly transform the information in the API interfaces.

  • <dcterms:spatial>United States, Pennsylvania, Erie</dcterms:spatial>
  • <dcterms:spatial> United States—Ohio—Toledo</dcterms:spatial>

Place shouldn’t be encoded in the own individual properties (in other words for Erie, Pennsylvania, and United States to be placed in separate <dc:coverage> fields). If records are formatted this way, we’d still be able to use the data to find matches for each individual place, but it’s impossible to tell which place names are related to which:

  • <dc:coverage>United States</dc:coverage>
  • <dc:coverage>Pennsylvania</dc:coverage>
  • <dc:coverage>Erie</dc:coverage>

The example above could be for Erie, Pennsylvania, but there are also places named Erie in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, and North Dakota. Without hierarchy, DPLA will have trouble disambiguating terms. The resulting enriched record would contain entries for “United States,” “Pennsylvania” and whichever “Erie” is selected by DPLA’s software.

Lastly, the field can’t contain any additional information such as street names, neighborhood names, building names, etc. It should only contain place names such as city, state, and country.

Subject dcterms:subject Recommended, can be multiple. Topic of described resource.

If you are using hyphens for subject, or geospatial order DPLA best practices include:

  • No spaces between terms.
  • Double hyphens (—) not single smart hyphens. Occasionally, Microsoft programs will automatically edit the double hyphens to one single hyphen. Check the autocorrect settings if necessary.

See correct and incorrect examples below:

  • Probate Records—Ohio—Butler County
  • Probate Records — Ohio — Butler County
  • Probate—Ohio—Butler County
Type dcterms:type Recommended, 1 or more. Nature or genre of described resource. Vocab – DCMIType

The type field must be filled with one of the DCMI Type Vocabulary Terms. If you’d like a more detailed explanation of the values, check out the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative DCMI Type webpage (Note: You’ll need to scroll to the middle of the page to find the DCMI type Vocabulary terms).

DPLA’s collection development guidelines state they don’t want the DCMI type “collection” used. The accepted DCMI Type vocabulary terms are:

  • Class
  • Event
  • Image
  • InteractiveResource
  • MovingImage
  • PhysicalObject
  • Service
  • Software
  • Sound
  • StillImage
  • Text