StaffGuide: CONTENTdm Cookbook

Recipes for Metadata Entry for the University of Arkansas Libraries


Field Name: Subjects is the default. However, custom-tailored field names (Subjects (LCSH), Names as Subjects, etc.) may be appropriate for an individual collection.
Requirement: Recommended (required if the Keywords field is not used)
Repeatable: No  (See below)
Search: Yes
Hide: No
Vocabulary: Yes  (See below)
Dublin Core (DC) Mapping: dc.subject
MARC Mapping: 653 $a (or 600-611, 650 if can map accurately for individual collection)
CONTENTdm Data Type: Text
Dublin Core Definition: The topic of the resource. Typically, the subject will be represented using keywords, key phrases, or classification codes. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary. To describe the spatial or temporal topic of the resource, use the Coverage element, that is, Location or Time Period.
UA Definition: Words or phrases representing the topic or form of the resource drawn from a published vocabulary.

In addition to topics or concepts, subjects may be persons, organizations, events, genres, forms, etc. The elements Location or Time Period, and not Subjects, should be used to describe locations depicted/described or time periods associated with a resource (although subject terms may contain geographic or period components).

Subject terms must come from a pre-defined thesaurus such as Library of Congress Subject Headings, the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials, the Ethnographic Thesaurus, etc. The project team will determine the appropriate thesaurus to use during its initial metadata meetings. Or the Keywords field may be used instead. 

It may be desirable to use multiple thesauri for a project, in which case separate Subjects elements along with clarifying element names should be used for each thesaurus  (e.g., “Subjects (LCSH),” “Subjects (ET),” etc.). Moreover, it may be appropriate to distinguish between different kinds of subjects (e.g. “Subjects,” “Names as Subjects,” etc.); in such cases, separate subject elements/element names are also appropriate.

To determine the subject(s) of a resource, use the Title and Description elements and the resource itself. When assigning subjects, it is appropriate to enter both general and more specific terms. As a rule, enter terms in order of their importance. Give exactly as found in the LC Authority File or controlled vocabulary list, including capitalization, spacing, and punctuation. Separate multiple terms with a semicolon space. Repeat the names of creators or contributors in the Subjects element only if the resource is in some way about that person or entity.

Use judgement about whether it is appropriate to assign terms denoting gender, race, or age. Do so when this information is considered important to bring out or is needed for context.


Natchez Indians--Wars, 1729

Huckabee, Mike, 1955- --Caricatures and cartoons

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U.S.). Vaccine Research Center

Folk music--Arkansas

Family life

Arkansas Post Region (Ark.)--History--18th Century; French--Arkansas--Genealogy

Revision Date: 11/21/19