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Overview of DAMS Metadata Workflow

DAMS data flow

Source Metadata

The source metadata comes from a collection owner or data provider. Source data can be in a variety of formats or encoding, including but not limited to Excel spreadsheets, MARC records, and Archivist's Toolkit exports.
For guidance on metadata creation for data providers, see the Metadata Best Practices for DAMS Data Providers. If further guidance, contact us.

Metadata Mapping

One of the services Metadata Analysts provide is specification of how existing, source metadata should be mapped to the DAMS data model. This process involves understanding the semantic meaning of each source field and determining which DAMS field would be the most appropriate match. In some cases, the source data must be split or joined in order to fit into the DAMS, but the goal is to create valid DAMS digital objects that maximize the search and display functions in the Digital Collections while conveying the meaning intended by the data provider.

Ingest to Digital Asset Management System (DAMS)

In collaboration with Information Technology Services (ITS), standard ingest tools are developed to make the batch ingest of metadata and files into the DAMS fast and accurate. The ingest tool transforms the source data into valid DAMS RDF and adds technical metadata extracted from the digital files. A quality assurance review is performed by DOMM, and any needed changes are made before the objects are made accessible in the Digital Collections Portal (the public interface of the DAMS).


The DAMS is both the data store and access system for digital objects. It is an RDF triplestore, based on the DAMS Data Model, a set of classes and subclasses that can describe any digital object. Within the DAMS Data Model, these well-established metadata standards inform the structure for different types of data. The Digital Library Program has more information on the architecture of the DAMS.