Educational Resources

The purpose of this page is to provide a list of online educational resources for metadata and digital objects. This includes standards and best practices, scholarly articles, blogs, conference presentations, and networks and communities of practice. Resources are listed alphabetically by topic. This is not an exhaustive list.


If you have resources you would like to add, please contact the Education Coordinator or Web Liaison.


Born Digital

Williams, Joseph A. and Elizabeth M. Berilla. “Minutes, Migration, and Migraines: Establishing a Digital Archives at a Small Institution.” American Archivist 78, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015): 84-95.


Cocciolo, Anthony. “When Archivists and Digital Asset Managers Collide: Tensions and Ways Forward.” American Archivist 79, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2016): 121-136.


Dryden, Jean. “The Role of Copyright in Selection for Digitization.” American Archivist 77, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2014): 64-95. provides 12 standardized rights statements for online cultural heritage.

Crowdsourcing & Social Tagging

Benoit, Edward, III. “#MPLP Part 1: Comparing Domain Expert and Novice Social Tags in a Minimally Processed Digital Archives.” American Archivist 80, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2017): 407-438.

Data Curation

Noonan, Daniel and Tamar Chute. “Data Curation and the University Archives.” American Archivist 77, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2014): 201-240.


Craft, Anna R., David Gwynn, and Kathelene McCarty Smith. “Uncovering Social History: An Interdepartmental Approach to Scrapbook Digitization.” American Archivist 79, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2016): 186-200.

Digital Preservation

Digital Preservation Coalition’s Digital Preservation Handbook is a key knowledge base for digital preservation basics, strategies, tools, and solutions.

National Digital Stewardship Alliance Publications site provides a list of recent NDSA reports, survey outcomes, and articles on digital preservation and stewardship.

Finding Aids

Walton, Rachel. “Looking for Answers: A Usability Study of Online Finding Aid Navigation.” American Archivist 80, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2017): 30-52.

Geospatial Metadata

The Federal Geographic Data Committee website provides links to background information, metadata standards and guidelines, and learning resources relating to geospatial metadata.

Guidelines and Best Practices

Baca, Murtha. “Metadata for Digital Projects: An Overview of Practical Issues and Challenges.” Workshop presented at the Digital Initiatives Symposium, San Diego, CA, 2018.

Miller, Steven J. Metadata for Digital Collections: A How-to-Do-It Manual. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2014. Companion website.

National Digital Stewardship Alliance Levels of Digital Preservation

NISO Framework Working Group. “A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections.” National Information Standards Organization, 2007.

Society of American Archivists. “A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology,” 2005.

W3C’s Data on the Web Best Practices provides best practices for sharing data on the web in both human-readable and machine-readable forms. 

Zeng, Marcia Lei. Metadata Basics, version 2.0, 2015.

Inclusive Metadata and Description

Berry, Dorothy. “Digitizing and Enhancing Description Across Collections to Make African American Materials More Discoverable on Umbra Search African American History.” In The Design for Diversity Learning Toolkit, Northeastern University Library, 2018. 

Douglas, Jennifer. “Toward More Honest Description.” American Archivist 79, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2016): 26-55.

Duarte, Marisa Elena. “Imagining: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Ontologies.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53, no. 5-6 (2015):  677-702.

Dunham, Elizabeth and Xaviera Flores. “Breaking the Language Barrier: Describing Chicano Archives with Bilingual Finding Aids.” American Archivist 77, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2014): 499-509.

Hagenmaier, Wendy. “ICYMI: “Diverse and Inclusive Metadata: Developing Cultural Competencies in Descriptive Practices” Sessions at the American Library Association Annual Conference.” Issues & Advocacy blog, August 22, 2016.

Littletree, Sandra and Cheryl A. Metoyer. "Knowledge Organization from an Indigenous Perspective: The Mashantucket Pequot Thesaurus of American Indian Terminology Project." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53, no. 5-6 (2015): 640-657.

Matusiak, Krystyna K., Ling Meng, Ewa Barczyk, and Chia-Jung Shih. "Multilingual metadata for cultural heritage materials: The case of the Tse-Tsung Chow Collection of Chinese Scrolls and Fan Paintings." Electronic Library (2015).

Rinn, Meghan R. "Nineteenth-Century Depictions of Disabilities and Modern Metadata: A Consideration of Material in the P. T. Barnum Digital Collection." Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies 5, no. 1 (2018).

Tang, Annie, Dorothy Judith Berry, Kelly Bolding, and Rachel E. Winston. “Toward Culturally Competent Archival (Re)Description of Marginalized Histories.” Session presented at the Society of American Archivists Annual Conference, Washington, DC, August 2018.

Linked Data

Examples to demonstrate the use of and the proposed Schema Architypes extension for publishing archival description as linked data in a low-barrier manner.

Niu, Jinfang. "Linked Data for Archives." Archivaria 82 (2016): 83-110.

Metadata Quality and Assessment

Bruce, Thomas R. and Diane I. Hillmann. (2004). “The Continuum of Metadata Quality: Defining, Expressing, Exploiting.” In Metadata in Practice, edited by Diane I. Hillmann and Elaine L. Westbrooks. ALA Editions, 2004.

Clair, Kevin. “Technical Debt as an Indicator of Library Metadata Quality.” D-Lib Magazine 22, no. 11/12 (November/December 2016).

DLF Metadata Assessment Working Group’s Metadata Assessment Framework and Guidance provides a framework for assessing descriptive metadata in digital collections.

DLF Metadata Assessment Working Group’s Metadata Assessment Zotero Library provides an extensive reading list on metadata assessment.

Margaritopoulos, Thomas, et al. “A Conceptual Framework for Metadata Quality Assessment.” 2008 Proceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications.

Shreeves, Sarah L., et al. “Is “Quality” Metadata “Shareable” Metadata? The Implications of Local Metadata Practices for Federated Collections.” ACRL Twelfth National Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 7–10, 2005.

Metadata Tools

DLF Metadata Assessment Working Group’s Tools Wiki is a curated list of metadata assessment tools for professionals who manage and assess various kinds of metadata.

Networks & Communities of Practice

ALA/SAA/AAM Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums (CALM)

ALCTS/LITA Linked Library Data Interest Group

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Digital Conversion Interest Group

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Digital Preservation Interest Group

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Metadata Interest Group

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Preservation Metadata Interest Group

Digital Library Federation (DLF) Assessment Interest Group (AIG) Metadata Working Group

National Digital Stewardship Alliance

OCLC Research Library Partnership’s Web Archiving Metadata Working Group. Webpage includes the group’s recommendations, a literature review of user needs, and a review of harvesting tools that discusses automatically generated descriptive metadata, as well as a free webinar on their outcomes.

Social Media Accounts

Archivistmemes | Twitter Handle: @archivistmemes  

Bio: “Because this gig is a lot funnier than it gets credit for.”

Best_Practices_Exchange | Twitter Handle: @ExchangeBest 

Bio: “BPE: Community of librarians/ archivists/ records mgrs/ other info professionals dedicated to managing digital info responsibly.”

BitCuratorConsortium | Twitter Handle: @bitconsortium

Bio: “Supporting digital forensics practices in cultural heritage orgs. Long live BitCurator!”

Digital Library Federation (DLF) | Twitter Handle: @CLIRDLF

Bio: “Networked member orgs & vibrant community—advancing research, learning, social justice, & the public good thru digital library tech”

SAA Electronic Records Section | Twitter Handle: @SAA_ERS

Bio: “The #WebArchiving Section of @archivists_org, est. January 2013”

SAA Metadata and Digital Object Section | Twitter Handle: @mdos_saa

Bio: “Twitter account for the Metadata and Digital Object Section of the Society of American Archivists (@archivists_org)

SAA Preservation Section | Twitter Handle: @SAApreservation

Bio: “Preservation Section of the Society of American Archivists.”


American Library Association (ALA) Digital Preservation List

American Library Association (ALA) Metadata Interest Group

Data Administration Newsletter

Digital Curation Google Group

Digital Library Federation DLF-Announce

Dublin Core DC-General Listserv

Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF) List | Included in EAD List below

Encoded Archival Description (EAD) List

Library of Congress Lists | The Signal: Digital Preservation Blog, Digital Preservation Newsletter, Digital Preservation Outreach and Education, LOC Web Archiving

Metadata Librarians Listserv

PBCore Google Group

PIG (PREMIS Implementers' Group) | Send email message to with text of the message reading "subscribe pig [your name]"

SAA Archives & Archivists List

VRACore (Visual Resources Association) List

Privacy & Confidentiality

Farley, Laura and Eric Willey. “Wisconsin School for Girls Inmate Record Books: A Case Study of Redacted Digitization.” American Archivist 78, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2015): 452-469.


American Library Association’s Metadata website provides basic information on metadata and a list of resources.

Digital Preservation Coalition’s Digital Preservation Handbook section on metadata and documentation provides an introduction to PREMIS and further learning resources.

International Federation of Library Associations’ Digital Libraries: Metadata Resources provides an extensive list of resources and indices for digital libraries metadata and metadata standards.

Library of Congress Standards website on metadata standards for librarians and archivists, with links to webpages for respective standards, including resource description formats, digital library standards, information resource retrieval protocols, and information resource retrieval standards.

Riley, Jenn. (2010). Seeing Standards: A Visualization of the Metadata Universe. Visually maps existing metadata standards to aid in selection and implementation.

University of Pittsburgh’s Metadata & Discovery @ Pitt libguide provides basics of metadata and how to select appropriate metadata standards.

Journal Articles

Gracy, Karen and Frank Lambert. “Who's Ready to Surf the Next Wave? A Study of Perceived Challenges to Implementing New and Revised Standards for Archival Description.” American Archivist 77, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2014): 96-132.

Taxonomies & Ontologies

Atria, the Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History's Women's Thesaurus contains terms about women, gender, gender equality, and feminism. 

GeoNames geographical database of all countries and over 11 million place names.

Getty Vocabularies website includes access to the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), the Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), the Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA), the Union List of Artist Names (ULAN), the Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA), and the Getty Iconography Authority (IA).

Homosaurus, an international LGBTQ linked data vocabulary.

Library of Congress Authorities contains Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Library of Congress Name Authority Files (LCNAF).

Library of Congress Linked Data Service, in addition to LCSH and LCNAF, contains the LC Children’s Subject Headings, LC Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music (LCMPT), Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM), AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus, Subject and Classification schemes, preservation and MARC geographic vocabularies as well as ontologies for BIBFRAME, MADS/RDF, and PREMIS. It also includes vocabularies for genres and languages.

Open Metadata Registry provides services to developers and consumers of controlled vocabularies and the semantic web community.

Society of American Archivists’ Thesaurus for Use in College and University Archives is a set of 1,300 topical terms used by any U.S. college or university archives for describing holdings.

Wikidata, a free knowledge base of millions of data items that can be interlinked to other open data sets on the linked data web.

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