Metadata Elements for Object Description and Representation#

silhouetes 1860 A Case Report from a Digitized Historical Fashion Collection Project

Marcia Lei Zeng, Ph.D., Associate Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio, U.S.A.


The goal of this project 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 (1) the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) in use with the United States MAchine-Readable Cataloging (USMARC) formats, (2) the Dublin Core set of elements designed for minimal level cataloging, and (3) 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 suggestion of a modified VRA metadata format to catalog the entire digitized historical fashion collection.


Executive Summary

1. Introduction

2. Methodology

3. Discussion

4. Summary and Conclusions



Tables 1-3 Comparison of Desired Elements and Selected Metadata Elements:


Project Related Links

# Note: This research is funded by OCLC Library and Information Science Research Grant Project. A full paper based on this report has been accepted for publishing in the Journal of American Society for Information Science (JASIS) Volume 50, Number 13, 1999. The report published here has additional sample records and project- related links. Please send email to if you have any question.

Images of the silhouettes used in this paper are links from "Bissonnette on Costume, A Visual Dictionary of Costume" by Anne Bissonnette of the Kent State University Museum.

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