Metadata Style Guidelines


Avoid unnecessary punctuation such as parentheses, brackets, and quotation marks, as these affect indexing. If punctuations are integrated in the form found in the thesauri, include them. e.g birth, death date


If there are abbreviations in your title, please enter an alternative title with abbreviations spelled out. Check controlled vocabularies for organization names with and without abbreviations to find correct formatting.


Use capitalization appropriate to the language of the content. Capitalize the first letter of a title and proper nouns and adjectives. Do not enter titles in all caps. Capitalize the first word in subject fields.

Initial Articles

Include initial articles in titles when they appear in the resource. Add an alternative title without the initial article to increase searchability.

Character Encoding

The preferred character encoding scheme is Unicode.


Include diacritics such as ñ, and special characters such as ‘ (‘okina) in title and description elements. Do not include diacritics and special characters in subject or geographic elements unless they appear in that form in authorized thesauri. For example, Hawaii is established without the ‘okina in sources such as the Library of Congress and Getty vocabularies. Differences in diacritics and special characters may affect indexing.


If roles are selected for creators and contributors, they will be displayed as parenthetical qualifiers after the names, e.g., Smith, John (illustrator); Doe, Jane (editor).

Personal Names

Enter all personal names for creators, contributors, and subjects in Last name, First name order. Include middle initials and birth/death dates if they appear in that form in authorized controlled vocabularies.