Dublin Core Mapping to USMARC

The Library of Congress Network Development and MARC Standards Office created to following document to provide a mapping between Dublin Core Metadata Elements and USMARC. The original document included a crosswalk to GILS data elements, but these have been removed for purposes of the CIMI Profile. The full document is available as Dublin Core/MARC/GILS Crosswalk (last updated: 04/07/97) [14].


The following is a crosswalk between the fifteen elements in the Dublin Core Element Set [17] on the one hand and both MARC bibliographic data elements. The crosswalk may be used in conversion of metadata from some other syntax into MARC. For conversion of MARC into Dublin Core, many fields would be mapped into a single Dublin Core element; this is not entirely covered in this document.

In the Dublin Core to MARC mapping, in some cases there are two mappings provided. The first is a simple mapping and is used if the Dublin Core elements are used without qualifiers. The second is for a more complex description for which the elements have qualifiers. There could be a mixture, but if the particular element is unqualified, then the simple mapping for that element should be used. Certain defaults have been assumed as to definitions and qualifiers; if this changes the list will need to be adjusted. Where applicable, subfields are given.

USMARC fields are listed with field number, then in parentheses field name/subfield name (if both are the same, no subfield name is included). If the value of the indicator is not provided, use a blank (H'20'). The label is a shortened form of the element name. GILS attribute names for each Dublin Core element are also given. Definitions are taken from Dublin Core Metadata Element Set: Reference Description.

Dublin Core to MARC and GILS Crosswalk.

The name given to the resource by the CREATOR or PUBLISHER.

Author or Creator
The person(s) or organization(s) primarily responsible for the intellectual content of the resource. For example, authors in the case of written documents, artists, photographers, or illustrators in the case of visual resources. Qualifier possible: type.

Subject and Keywords
The topic of the resource, or keywords or phrases that describe the subject or content of the resource. The intent of the specification of this element is to promote the use of controlled vocabularies and keywords. This element might well include scheme-qualified classification data (for example, Library of Congress Classification Numbers or Dewey Decimal numbers) or scheme-qualified controlled vocabularies (such as Medical Subject Headings or Art and Architecture Thesaurus descriptors) as well. Qualifier possible: scheme.

A textual description of the content of the resource, including abstracts in the case of document-like objects or content descriptions in the case of visual resources. Future metadata collections might well include computational content description (spectral analysis of a visual resource, for example) that may not be embeddable in current network systems. In such a case this field might contain a link to such a description rather than the description itself.

The entity responsible for making the resource available in its present form, such as a publisher, a university department, or a corporate entity. The intent of specifying this field is to identify the entity that provides access to the resource.

Other Contributors
Person(s) or organization(s) in addition to those specified in the CREATOR element who have made significant intellectual contributions to the resource but whose contribution is secondary to the individuals or entities specified in the CREATOR element (for example, editors, transcribers, illustrators, and convenors). Qualifier possible: type.

The date the resource was made available in its present form. The recommended best practice is an 8 digit number in the form YYYYMMDD as defined by ANSI X3.30-1985. In this scheme, the date element for the day this is written would be 19961203, or December 3, 1996. Many other schema are possible, but if used, they should be identified in an unambiguous manner. Qualifier possible: type

Resource Type
The category of the resource, such as home page, novel, poem, working paper, technical report, essay, dictionary. It is expected that RESOURCE TYPE will be chosen from an enumerated list of types. A preliminary set of such types can be found at the following URL:

The data representation of the resource, such as text/html, ASCII, Postscript file, executable application, or JPEG image. The intent of specifying this element is to provide information necessary to allow people or machines to make decisions about the usability of the encoded data (what hardware and software might be required to display or execute it, for example). As with RESOURCE TYPE, FORMAT will be assigned from enumerated lists such as registered Internet Media Types (MIME types). In principal, formats can include physical media such as books, serials, or other non-electronic media.

Resource Identifier
String or number used to uniquely identify the resource. Examples for networked resources include URLs and URNs (when implemented). Other globally-unique identifiers,such as International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) or other formal names would also be candidates for this element. Qualifier possible: scheme.

The work, either print or electronic, from which this resource is derived, if applicable. For example, an html encoding of a Shakespearean sonnet might identify the paper version of the sonnet from which the electronic version was transcribed.

Language of the intellectual content of the resource. Where practical, the content of this field should coincide with the Z39.53 three character codes for written languages. Qualifier possible: scheme.

Relationship to other resources. The intent of specifying this element is to provide a means to express relationships among resources that have formal relationships to others, but exist as discrete resources themselves. For example, images in a document, chapters in a book, or items in a collection. A formal specification of RELATION is currently under development. Users and developers should understand that use of this element should be currently considered experimental. Possible qualifiers: scheme, type.

The spatial locations and temporal durations characteristic of the resource. Formal specification of COVERAGE is currently under development. Users and developers should understand that use of this element should be currently considered experimental. Possible qualifier: type.

Rights Management
The content of this element is intended to be a link (a URL or other suitable URI as appropriate) to a copyright notice, a rights-management statement, or perhaps a server that would provide such information in a dynamic way. The intent of specifying this field is to allow providers a means to associate terms and conditions or copyright statements with a resource or collection of resources. No assumptions should be made by users if such a field is empty or not present. Qualifiers possible: URL, URN.


In addition to the variable length fields listed in the mapping, a USMARC record will also include a Leader and field 008 (Fixed-Length Data Elements). Certain character positions in each of these fixed length fields of a USMARC record will need to be coded, although most will generate default values.
Leader: a fixed field comprising the first 24 character positions (00-23) of each record that provides information for the processing of the record. The following positions should be generated:

008 Fixed Length Data Elements: Forty character positions (00-39) containing positionally-defined data elements that provide coded information about the record as a whole or about special bibliographic aspects of the item being cataloged. For records originating as Dublin Core, the following character positions are used:

042$a Authentication Code

Value: dc (new code to identify USMARC records derived from Dublin Core style record).

Uses for mapping Dublin Core to MARC

A mapping between the elements in the Dublin Core and USMARC fields is necessary so that conversions between various syntaxes can occur accurately. Once Dublin Core style metadata is widely provided, it might interact with MARC records in various ways such as the following:

Enhancement of simple resource description record. A cataloging agency may wish to extract the metadata provided in Dublin Core style (presumably in HTML or SGML) and convert the data elements to MARC fields, resulting in a skeletal record. That record might then be enhanced as needed to add additional information generally provided in the particular catalog.

Searching across syntaxes and databases. Libraries have large systems with valuable information in MARC bibliographic records (which may also be called metadata). Over the past few years with the expansion of electronic resource over the Internet, other syntaxes have also been considered for providing metadata. The Library of Congress has worked with a group of SGML experts to create a Document-Type Definition (DTD) for MARC, so that conversions can be made between SGML and MARC in a standardized way. It will be important for systems to be able to search metadata in different syntaxes and databases and have commonality in the definition and use of elements.

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