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About Us

Metadata Services was formed in July 2013 through the centralization of all metadata activity within the Library, including image and special collections cataloging.

We were known as the Metadata Services Department from July 2005-June 2013.  From the founding of the University through June 2005, we were called the Catalog Department.  In those really old days, the department typed and filed cards into card catalogs, manual authority files, and the Official Shelflist.

Metadata Services is responsible for creating and managing the metadata for UC San Diego Library collections.

Metadata is structured data, more concise and consistent than full text, which allows for the more efficient discovery and management of information resources.

We view metadata work quite broadly and include in our scope:

  • Tangible materials in all formats (books, CDs, DVDs, microforms, images, maps, software, etc.)
  • Rare books and special collections materials
  • Electronic resources, encompassing original born-digital materials as well as licensed and open access content, including ebooks, ejournals, websites and digital personal papers
  • Materials in all languages
  • Manuscript collections (personal papers)
  • Digitized materials, including those that have been reformatted for preservation purposes
  • Research data sets

We take primary responsibility for creating, manipulating and managing metadata in these three key databases:

  1. Alma (for monographs, serials, integrating resources, electronic resources, and physical inventory). This is the backend of UC Library Search, the online public access catalog for the UC San Diego Library.
  2. DAMS (for digital objects except for art images). This is the backend of the Digital Library Collections site.
  3. JSTOR Forum (for image cataloging). Records created here are available in either ARTstor or the Library's Digital Collections site.

We also coordinate our metadata with the systemwide UC Libraries network, OCLC WorldCat, and with the San Diego Circuit (a local resource sharing network), among many others.