StaffGuide: CONTENTdm Cookbook

Recipes for Metadata Entry for the University of Arkansas Libraries


Field Name:  Notes
Requirement: Optional
Repeatable: No
Search: Yes
Hide: No
Vocabulary: No
Dublin Core (DC) Mapping: dc.description
MARC Mapping: 500 $a
CONTENTdm Data Type: Text
Dublin Core Definition: An account of the resource. Description may include but is not limited to: an abstract, a table of contents, a graphical representation, or a free-text account of the resource.
UA Definition: Supplemental information useful for the public that is not appropriate for the Description or other fields.

Generally, use the Notes element for additional information not appropriate for describing the physical object but that provides context for the item. Such information may be drawn from the resource itself or taken from external sources such as reference works, finding aids, etc.

Specific uses of Notes would include: 

  • Providing the history of objects or people in the resource or information about the time period associated with the resource.
  • Speculating about dates, events, or people related to the item.
  • Establishing the item’s relationship to other resources in the digital collection.
  • Describing the significance of an item that goes beyond describing the item itself.
  • Supplying the addresses of buildings depicted.
  • Providing a description of non-English language content of a text document when no translation is included.
  • Non-Gregorian dates
    • For items with dates not conforming to the Gregorian or Julian calendar, use the Notes element to give the date as found, along with the name of the calendar. For example, “Date on item is 2628, which is dated in accordance with the Chinese calendar” (DACS 2.4.5).

Offensive Content (including Titles)

The Notes element should be be included whenever the content of an item could be considered offensive. Consult the collection curator to determine if a custom note is appropriate, or if the following standard text should be used:

This material depicts ethnic, racial, and gender insensitivity that was once commonplace in American society. Such portrayals were wrong then and are wrong today. While not representing the views of the University of Arkansas today, the item is being presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.

When the Notes element is generally not needed for a collection, such information may instead be included in the Description field.


Harry Scott Ashmore (1916-1998) was the executive editor of the Arkansas Gazette during the 1957 desegregation crisis at Little Rock's Central High School. He wrote a series of Pulitzer Prize winning editorials on the subject.

This caricature was presented to Vice President Rockefeller by George Fisher in Washington, D.C.

Notes Paired with Description Element

Description:  James Volney Walker seated between John Collin Messie and Charles A. Watson.

Notes:  Walker graduated in 1877 from the University of Arkansas (known at that time as Arkansas Industrial University). He became a prominent lawyer in Northwest Arkansas


Description:  Interior Design Students have a project critique in the Gallery of Vol Walker Hall.

Notes:  The Interior Design program joined the School of Architecture in 2010.

Use Template: No
Revision Date: 10/10/19