Metadata Elements for Object Description and Representation: A Case Report from a Digitized Historical Fashion Collection Project

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Journal of the American Society for Information Science

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metadata, object description, object representation, case report, digitized historical fashion collection project


Cataloging and Metadata | Library and Information Science


This project’s goal is to develop a catalog for a digitized collection of historical fashion objects held at the Kent State University Museum and to analyze and evaluate how well existing metadata formats can be applied to a fashion collection. The project considered the known and anticipated uses of the collection and the identification of the metadata elements that would be needed to support these uses. From a set of 90 museum accession records, 42 fashion objects were selected for cataloging. Three metadata treatments were created for these 42 items using (a) the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) in use with the United States MAchineReadable Cataloging (USMARC) formats, (b) the Dublin Core set of elements designed for minimal level cataloging, and (c) the Visual Resources Association (VRA) Core Categories for Visual Resources created for developing local databases and cataloging records for visual resources collections. Comparison and analysis of the formats resulted in the adoption of a modified VRA metadata format to catalog the entire digitized historical fashion collection.