Skip to content
Penn State University Libraries


Cataloging and Metadata Services
126 Paterno Library
University Park, PA 16802-1808

Staff Directory

Phone: (814) 865-1755
Fax: (814) 863-7293


The following is a list of projects in which the Metadata Team is currently involved. Questions about metadata services for any of these projects may be directed to the Bibliographic Services Council:

Libraries Digital Collections

Penn State uses CONTENTdm, an OCLC product for managing digital collections, as the hosting platform for many of its digital projects. Cataloging and Metadata Services supports Penn State's digital collections in CONTENTdm through the re-purposing of MARC metadata held in The CAT in non-MARC metadata formats to support access, discovery, and management of these materials. The Metadata Team works frequently with other teams in the department, particularly the Special Collections and Maps Cataloging Teams, to provide metadata for these projects and support the work of the Digitization and Preservation Department in making these digitized materials available to the Penn State community and the general public.

The Metadata Team has primary responsibility for:

  • setting metadata standards for CONTENTdm collections, including establishing field requirements and maintaining controlled vocabularies where applicable
  • developing processes for transforming existing catalog records into tab-delimited text, XML records in various schema, and other formats for CONTENTdm ingest and other re-use
  • training staff in Cataloging and Metadata Services and other departments in creating and managing metadata for CONTENTdm collections

More information about metadata for these projects may be found on the CONTENTdm page.

Research and Scholarly Communications

The University Libraries, in collaboration with Digital Library Technologies (DLT), supports a program of scholarly communications services built upon a common repository architecture called Program Sigma. Program Sigma includes content stewardship services, outreach, and education on a wide range of isses related to curation of research data, such as licensing, preservation, and open access. One of the primary activities of Program Sigma has been the development and release of the ScholarSphere digital repository, set to launch in September 2012.

Cataloging and Metadata Services supports the activities of Program Sigma through consulting on metadata standards and rules, and active participation on the ScholarSphere project team. In addition to working with DLT developers on implementing Dublin Core as a descriptive metadata standard for ScholarSphere content, the Metadata Team works to ensure that metadata provided to ScholarSphere by its users is compatible with linked open data practices on the Web, through authority control work and linking ScholarSphere metadata to existing linked data vocabularies such as DBpedia and GeoNames.

The Metadata Team also works closely with staff in Digitization and Preservation to support digital publishing activities at the University Libraries, particularly electronic journal publishing through the DPubS journal platform. The Metadata Team ensures consistent enforcement of DPubS metadata standards to all electronic journals hosted by the Libraries, and works with staff in both departments to document these standards and their implementation.

Mass Digitization Projects

Penn State participates in three mass digitization projects: the Google Books Project, the HathiTrust, and the LYRASIS Mass Digitization Collaborative with the Internet Archive. The Metadata Team supports this work through implementing processes to provide metadata records to each of these projects, and working with partners to ensure the quality of the metadata as well as its adherence to project standards.

The Metadata Team is responsible for organizing the transfer of bibliographic metadata to and from Google and LYRASIS for titles requested by them for digitization purposes. We work closely with the Department of Information Technologies (I-Tech), Digitization and Preservation, and Access Services to gather metadata from The CAT and provide it to our digitization partners at LYRASIS and Google in order to provide them with the richest possible metadata for the digital versions of our resources. Because all titles digitized as part of these projects will also be preserved in the HathiTrust, the Metadata Team also generates MARC record exports for the purpose of transferring this bibliographic metadata to HathiTrust in accordance with its standards.

Digital Resource Discovery Initiatives

The Metadata Librarian participates in the management of LionSearch, Penn State's implementation of the Summon discovery system, through developing metadata standards allowing Serials Solutions to index various digital collections not already represented in The CAT and make them available. These include CONTENTdm, DPubS, and research and course guides published on the Libraries web site. The Metadata Librarian works closely with I-Tech system administrators and developers on these efforts.

Metadata Consulting

The Metadata Team also consults units within and outside of the Libraries on metadata and information architecture needs for their digital projects. These consultations include advice on MARC and other metadata standards, the implementation of controlled vocabularies and taxonomies for describing content, and integration of metadata into data management workflows. We have worked with faculty and staff throughout Penn State on these issues.