MODS RECORD INFORMATION
We are now automatically creating MODS records for our Online Books Page
listings. This is being done initially to share records in the Digital
Library Federation's Aquifer initiative. The records
may also be used for other purposes.
The metadata records used by The Online Books Page are not as detailed
as those that typically appear in a library catalog, but they give more detail
that simple Dublin Core does. Representing these records in MODS
as required by Aquifer may in some cases involve our script inferring
MODS elements that are not fully supported in the underlying record.
If you have any questions about the MODS records that result from these
transformations, please contact us at the address below.
Notes on inferred fields
Some of the information required in the DLF Aquifer MODS profile is
not explicitly recorded in Online Books Page records. Therefore,
some of the required fields are automatically inferred based on
metadata we do record. In some cases, these inferences may be
incorrect, but we strive for as much accuracy as possible while
still conforming to the Aquifer profile. Below are some notes
on the inferences we make.
- originInfo: This element is required by Aquifer, and must
include a date. If we have a publication or copyright date for an entry,
we include that as a dateIssued or copyrightDate subelement. Otherwise, we will
include the date of accession to The Online Books Page as a "questionable"
- language: This element is required by Aquifer for
textual resources, and we
always assume it to be English. The Online Books Page's scope is indeed
currently limited to books intelligible to English epeakers, but there
are a few primarily pictorial works in the collection that have
no text, or that only have text in a non-English language. These
will still be noted as "English" in our MODS OAI record. Some books also
have text in other languages (e.g. a book that has original-language
text accompanied by an English translation). These other languages
are not currently noted in our MODS record.
- physicalDescription: Aquifer requires that this element be
present, and requires the subelements internetMediaType and
- internetMediaType:: Aquifer requires a note on the media types of the resources. We have format information for some, but not all of our listings.
We will note the presence of HTML, PDF, and plain text where that is recorded. (There may be other formats available as well, but if so, we don't note it.)
Where we do not have information on those specific formats, we simply say
"application/octet-stream", a media type that applies to all data on the Web.
- digitalOrigin:: Aquifer requires a note on whether a work is born digital or reformatted
digital (where resources that include new digital content with digitized
analog content are supposed to be labeled "born digital".)
We do not keep track of whether our listings contain new digital content.
So we assume "born digital" by default. However, if we have a recorded
issued date before 1970, and no "commentary" note on the item,
we will assume "reformatted digital";
- subject: All subjects (including name, geographic,
and other subjects) are shown with all their subdivisions
under a single "topic" subelement.
While we do internally distinguish name subjects from other kinds
of subjects, we do not type subdivisions, and it appears that the
only subelement that allows untyped subdivisions is single topic
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