MDOS Mini-Newsletter - March 2022

Dear colleagues,

The MDOS Steering Committee would like to share March’s MDOS Mini-Newsletter with you, with our best wishes for spring!


Metadata Resource of the Month

The metadata resource we’d like to highlight this month is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) Collection ID Guide. For any of us who've experienced confusion identifying an unusual or unfamiliar format, this website is indispensable. PSAP self-describes as “a free online tool that helps collection managers prioritize efforts to improve conditions of collections.” The Collection ID Guide includes 5 sections: Audiovisual Media, Paper and Book, Photo and Image Material, Objects, and Supplementary resources. For each particular format, example images are given, as well as descriptions of appearance, composition, dates of production, and more. This guide is especially useful for considering preservation needs (entries also give assessments on risk level, recommended storage environment, and handling and care), but its usefulness for general identification purposes cannot be overstated. The project team for this resource has consisted of these individuals: Jennifer Hain Teper, Project Lead, Ryan Edge, Project Manager (2013 – Fall 2014), Amanda Eisemann, Project Manager (Fall 2014 – 2015), Somer Pelczar, Project Manager (May 2016 – November 2016), and Alex Dolski, Programmer/Developer. Our thanks to the team!

PSAP website:

Collection ID Guide:

Metadata Figure of the Month

Our metadata figure of the month is Dr. Jean Dryden, who has been an educator at the University of Maryland (2008 to 2011), a researcher and author on copyright practices of archival repositories (including as a principal investigator of an Institute of Museum and Library Services study on the topic), and Project Manager for CUSTARD (Canada–U.S. Task Force on Archival Description), whose work led to the creation of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS). Dryden describes in her below-cited 2013 article: “After two years of work, the project [CUSTARD] produced a draft standard; however, Canadians and Americans could not reconcile certain fundamental differences in practice, and the two groups agreed to go their separate ways. The American team tweaked the draft standard to better reflect American practice, and the SAA published DACS in 2004, formally adopting it as an official standard in 2005.” As DACS is so frequently referenced for many of us in our day-to-day work, we hope this context as to its creation may be of interest!

SAA Profile:

Jean Dryden (2013) From CUSTARD to DACS2, Journal of Archival Organization, 11:1-2, 113-117.

All the best,

The MDOS Steering Committee