Metadata Input Guidelines: Format

Element Name



The digital manifestation of the resource.

Where Can the Format Information be Found?

Format is determined by examining the item.

How Format Works in the Metadata Form

1. Format – drop-down menu
Yes - also see more information about required fields

How Should the Format be Filled in?

Guideline Example
Select the correct format from the controlled vocabulary text - Text
The format should match the broad Resource Type for the item:  
Books, yearbooks, letters, newspapers, theses and dissertations, other text text - Text
Artwork, posters, maps, photographs, scores image - Image
For 'physical objects' format is 'Image' image - Image
If none of the resource types fits, choose "Other" other - Other

Other Examples

Format: text - Text
Architectural drawing
Format: image - Image
Transferware plate
Format: image - Image
Musical recording
Format: audio - Audio
U.S. Department of Agriculture bulletin
Format: text - Text
Format: image - Image


Glossary of Resource Types:

Resource Type Code Items
Audio audio Sound files
Image image Two-dimensional, graphic representations
Text text Written or printed documents
Video video Moving images
Website website Collection of webpages
Other other Any other items
  • For physical (as opposed to digital) nature, including size and duration of the original resource, use the Physical Description element.
  • For categorizing the primary content of the resource (to aid in searching) use the Resource Type element.
  • Format is important because choice of appropriate preservation strategies depends on knowing the structural type of the digital manifestation


More Guidelines: