Metadata Homepage

Metadata Department

Lathrop Library/Third Floor -- Stanford, CA 94305-6004 -- FAX: (650) 725-1120

In support of the University's mission of teaching, learning and research, the Metadata Department strives to provide intellectual access to the Stanford University Libraries rich collections through the development of SUL's discovery and retrieval environment.


Meyer Library. Photo by Casey Mullin 

What We Do

The processing of MARC-based metadata at SUL is distributed among a number of technical services processing units, and some of SUL's branch libraries for those materials. In a streamlined process, the Acquisitions Department receives all materials, and catalogs many of them, making use of vendor services wherever possible. Those materials for which there is no copy at point of receipt have brief records created in the Metadata Department’s Classification Unit. These records stand as surrogates until full-level cataloging is created in OCLC. The most important items for SUL’s collections are removed from this queue and given full, original cataloging immediately. Details of the flow between the Acquisitions and Metadata Departments can be found in the incoming flowchart. The Metadata Department provides access to those materials that are unique or difficult to catalog. The Department also processes large collections (purchased or gift), which cannot be accommodated within the Acquisitions workflow. In addition, we also catalog all electronic resources and serials, as well as most multimedia materials. We provide cataloging in all languages except Arabic languages for Green Library and the branches. We catalog serials, Slavic and Hebrew materials for the Department of Special Collections. Other special collection, music, map and archival cataloging is done in other divisions. In addition to providing cataloging, we provide database management of SUL's on-line catalog, including export, import and maintenance of records. Since the fall of 2000, we have provided metadata services in support of SUL’s digital library program in the form of metadata consulting and descriptive metadata production.

The goals of the Metadata Department are to:

  • Advocate, provide and maintain intellectual access to SUL's collections through SearchWorks, SUL’s new discovery environment
  • Advocate, provide and maintain metadata discovery and retrieval for the Libraries' rapidly growing digital collections.
  • Accomplish this work within our existing resources
  • Process current incoming materials and data immediately - no backlogs
  • Advocate and assure quality of our products and services
  • Provide planning support to collection development for collection processing
  • Commit, as resources allow, to cooperative cataloging programs such as PCC, whose BIBCO, NACO and SACO standards are followed as a default for all original monographic cataloging
  • Partner with and make use of emerging vendor services
  • Accomplish all of the above by recruiting and developing an elite professional and paraprofessional staff, with strong language, subject and technical backgrounds, as well as knowledge of standards and best practices
  • Refresh and renew staff through a continuous process improvement model, tapping colleagues at Stanford and in other institutions

For questions about the Metadata Department, please contact Nancy Lorimer, Metadata Department Head.