Working Group 1: Descriptive Metadata: MARC, AACR2, and the TEI Header Discussion Summary and Recommendations

(TEIH stands for TEI header; MARCR stands for MARC record)

1. Discussion

1.1 Diversity of needs and configurations are illustrated in existing projects:

  • header creation carried out by scholars and graduate students (general data) and by catalogers (normalized data)
  • some projects input to MARCR and convert to TEIH - some input to TEIH and convert to MARCR
  • reality of the production environment means for some projects quantity is the leading requirement over quality

Therefore, flexibility to make various production decisions is important to TEI users.

1.2 Need for MARC/catalog record in addition to the TEI header was discussed:

  • duplication of data concern
  • updating of data when either changes concern
  • automatic conversion from TEIH to MARCR may not take into consideration selection decisions for items that are to be "cataloged" and entered into the library's catalog
  • must supply MARCR to union catalog for various cooperative activities
  • need for unified access to resources across an institution which may be required or easier with MARCRs
  • need for fuller bibliographic information found in MARCR for retrieval
  • need to accommodate library environments with different infrastructure and equipment levels

1.3 Conclusion: there needs to be a "good level" of convertibility between TEIH and MARCR.


2. Recommendations

Purposes met by recommendations:

Flexibility for creating, using, and exchanging electronic documents by libraries and library users in order to:

  • enable choice of creating descriptive data in MARC or TEI
  • enable retrieval of electronic with non-electronic resources in MARC environments, and enable retrieval based on TEIH descriptive data with document content data in the SGML environment -- thus improving effective access to resources
  • enable controlled data (following library standards) to be so marked in TEIH
  • foster innovation
  • enable cost effective solutions in different environments.

Recommendation 1: Develop round-trip mappings for TEIH and MARCR for a data element subset common to both descriptive records.

Recommendation 2: Enable TEIH and MARCR to have sufficient specificity in markup for the subset to support round-trip mapping, with the caution to: minimize changes to either specification and maintain the validity of "general" along with "specific" TEIH tagging.

Recommendation 3: Develop converters (freeware?) for the TEIH and MARCR subset of descriptive data elements.

Recommendation 4: Establish consensus for best practices and develop toolkit for TEIH, to include:

  • guidelines for descriptive data - AACRlite(?), Authority lists
  • tagging guidelines
  • minimal descriptive data element specifications
  • text selection, etc., guidelines (?)

Recommendation 5: Once toolkit and other items above are prepared, encourage adoption of element sets, guides, and best practices in projects by influencing funding agencies to specify them, especially for large scale, multi-institutional projects.

Recommendation 6: Establish relationship to relevant ALA and other library groups for review and input, using electronic tools to produce timely collaboration.

Recommendation 7: Establish a working group composed of a few major TEI users to draft the materials discussed above for the TEI steering committee, which will carry out fuller reviews. Seek funding through the Digital Library Federation for the support of the working group to assure the work is expedited. This work is critical for libraries.

Recommendation 8: Future developments: monitor and/or participate in XML developments with respect to TEI and MARC, taking advantage of opportunitites to promote and enhance cross-institutional and cross-collection retrieval.


Sally McCallum (Library of Congress)

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Last modified: 03/05/2013