StaffGuide: CONTENTdm Cookbook

Recipes for Metadata Entry for the University of Arkansas Libraries


Field Name: Title
Requirement: Required (mandatory)
Repeatable: No
Search: Yes
Hide: No
Vocabulary: No
Dublin Core (DC) Mapping: dc.title
MARC Mapping: 245 [00] $a
CONTENTdm Data Type: Text
Dublin Core Definition: A name given to the resource.
UA Definition: The name given to the resource by the creator or publisher; may also be an identifying phrase or name of the object devised (created) by UA.

Transcribe the title from the resource (i.e., a formal title), if there is one.  Enter only one title in this field.  A single title may include a subtitle and or an alternate title (that is, a second title joined to the first by the word “or”).  However, if an item has multiple distinct titles that appear together in the resource, enter the first in the Title element and record subsequent titles in Alternate Title. 

If no title is available from the resource, create one.  Avoid simple generic titles, but instead include significant, unique information that sufficiently describes the resource even outside the context of the collection.  (For example, the title “On a horse” might be adequate for a photograph in the collection “Images of Theodore Roosevelt,” but it will not identify the resource if metadata is removed from this setting.)

In a created title, provide information in the order of Who or What followed by Where and/or When if needed for clarification.  If needed to differentiate one item from another, add the date to the title.  Use the form: month (spelled out), day (1 or 2 digits), year (4 digits).  Do not use abbreviations or square brackets in created titles. 

Generally omit from a created title terms denoting gender, race, or age, unless this information is considered important to bring out or is needed for context.  For existing descriptions that are used as the basis for CONTENTdm metadata, generally remove outdated terms, or, if they are needed for context, update them to current terminology.  If there is doubt about current terminology, leave such terms out.

Within a given collection, it may be desirable to collocate [i.e., arrange next to each other] related items by prefacing each title with a standard introductory word or phrase.  For example, in the Ozark Folksong Collection, there are a relatively small number of spoken dialogs on various subjects; in these cases, the title was assigned the introductory word “Talk:”.

Observe the following conventions for entering data:

  • For titles that begin with a leading article (“A,” “An,” “The”), move the article to the end of the title string and separate it with a comma, space. For example: Age of man, The.  The exception is initial articles beginning a proper name (e.g. El Dorado).
  • Capitalization of titles should be decided on a collection-by-collection basis.

Title Case

  • Exception:  generally use sentence-style capitalization for foreign-language titles.
  • Capitalize the second element in a hyphenated spelled-out number (e.g., Forty-Ninth).
  • Capitalize the first element a hyphenated word, as well as subsequent elements, unless they are articles, prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor).  Also lowercase the second element if it follows a prefix that can’t stand on its own (e.g., Anti-inflammatory). 
  • Capitalize the first and last words of title and subtitle and all other major words, including nouns and pronouns. Follow the Chicago Manual of Style, which generally recommends lowercasing articles (unless initial) and most prepositions and conjunctions.

Sentence Case

  • Capitalize the first word and proper nouns only.  Generally use sentence-style capitalization for foreign-language titles.

Honor clear author/creator preferences for capitalization.

  • In general, transcribe punctuation that appears in the resource. If the title is a composed one, then use punctuation that would be appropriate for the English language.  Omit quotation marks unless they are really enclosing a direct quotation.   Do not add terminal punctuation, and delete terminal periods unless they are part of an abbreviation.  Retain other ending punctuation that appears in the resource.  However, do not use semicolons within titles, as CONTENTdm uses this character to separate multiple values.  
  • Do not use quotation marks, parentheses, or square brackets (“  (  [ ) to begin a title, because these characters affect indexing in CONTENTdm.
  • Keep abbreviations or numbers used in the original title (but provide an Alternate Title element with the abbreviations or numbers spelled out).
  • Enter acronyms in capital letters with or without intervening periods as they appear in the resource, but remove internal spaces.
  • If the title includes an alternative title (two phrases connected with “and,” “&”, “or”), give the complete string in the Title element, and create an Alternate Title field for just the second title segment.
  • If explanatory information is needed, add it to the end of the title in parentheses.
  • Formal titles that could be considered offensive.  Give the title as found on the item, but consult the collection curator about what statement should be given in the Notes element.  A custom note or the following standard text may 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.


Dam the Buffalo (sticker)

Ariel Idella (Della) Hottel Gist portrait with ruffled collar and flower corsage

Florence Price Letter to John Alden Carpenter, May 16, 1940, Regarding Submitting His Songs to Marian Anderson

Brooks Hays with President Eisenhower and Other Members of the Kestnbaum Commission

Along about the Time When They're Sweet Sixteen

Talk: Courting, Fighting Typhoid, and Basket Suppers

Maiden’s Blush, Wagener, R.I. Greening

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