1. Introduction

This document provides a “how to” guide for creating catalogue records for resources in the arts and humanities. These cataloguing guidelines set out the rules our cataloguers are required to follow. The guidelines are intended to ensure consistency within the database and to enable our data to be used by other resources such as reading lists and library catalogues. If you do not understand any of the rules, or require further clarification, please contact the team via email.

This guide is based on the cataloguing guidelines written for Intute (Intute Cataloguing Guidelines v3, 05/2006 http://www.intute.ac.uk/cataloguer/guidelines.doc [Word document]). This guide follows best practice from the guidelines of the former RDN hubs, and is based on the cataloguing conventions of Dublin Core, RLLOMAP, AACR2 and the RDA where relevant.

1.1. Key points to remember

You must enter data into all MANDATORY fields, (and into all AS REQUIRED fields where relevant data is available).

Ensure that the description is accurate, clearly written, and covers all the significant features of the resource.

Ensure you catalogue each resource by its shortest and simplest URL. Always check that a Web page does not have a parent page that would be more appropriate to catalogue.

Descriptions of commercial websites must clearly indicate their usefulness to those in FE and HE immediately after the opening sentence explaining what they are.

1.2. Collection Development Policy Summary

Our catalogued resources must be of value to arts or humanities students, researchers, teachers, or support staff, working in further or higher education in the UK.

We only cover area studies resources that have significant arts and humanities content, i.e. not primarily concerning politics, economics, international relations, and other social science topics.

Exclude sites that consist merely of links to other sites, unless they are extensive, include significant annotations, and are well maintained.

We admit websites by companies and commercial enterprises, provided that they are of clear practical benefit to students, teachers or researchers in the course of their work within UK FE and HE.

This benefit should not be derived from the consumption of the goods or services marketed or sold on such websites, but may be derived from the study of the marketing of goods and services to third parties by students and researchers in arts and humanities disciplines.

e.g. We would not include a site for a contemporary book publisher, despite the fact that the publisher might be selling books specifically targeted at humanities scholars. We may, however, catalogue the website of a fashion designer if the content of that site were of clear practical benefit to a student studying fashion.

Exclude individuals’ home pages that do not contain significant content beyond personal details.

Exclude individual texts or essays that are part of a larger collection.

Exclude the constituent pages of a larger site or project, unless they are notably independent or individually require a longer description than can reasonably be included in the record for their parent site.

If you encounter any suggested site that contravenes the Collection Development Policy, please inform the Subject Group team via email.

2. Finding suitable resources

The first phase of cataloguing involves finding an appropriate online resource to catalogue.

Probationer cataloguers are required to find original resources themselves as part of their training. Live cataloguers in the humanities should check if there are any suggested sites that they are able to catalogue before exploring the Internet for new resources. Live cataloguers in the arts, however, should only catalogue resources they themselves have found, and not pick up public submissions unless specifically requested to do so.

2.1. Finding a new resource to catalogue

If there are no suitable suggested sites available for you to catalogue, you will need to explore the Internet for a resource not already included in the database. Please ensure that you are familiar with the collection development policy before submitting any new resources.

You should ensure that the most important and expansive sites in your field are catalogued before searching for more specialised resources. The following list gives some indication of how you should prioritise your search for resources, although obviously the actual quality of individual resources within any category is likely to vary significantly.

2.2. Cataloguing priorities

First, consider resources funded or otherwise supported by UK national bodies such as:

the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee),

Intute (formerly the RDN (Resource Discovery Network)),

the RSLP (Research Support Libraries Programme),

the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council),

the Arts Councils of England, Scotland, and Wales

the NOF (New Opportunity Funds),

the HE Academy and subject centres,

(formerly the LTSN (Learning and Teaching Support Network)),

Major online projects in your field directed by institutions such as universities or libraries.

Professional bodies and associations that deal with your subject, or important aspects of it.

Databases and collections of primary or secondary resources.

Smaller projects in your field directed by subject departments or individual academics.

Sites specifically intended for teachers in higher or further education.

Online reference guides to your field.

Individual online books or theses.

Sites consisting of bibliographical information.

Well-annotated lists of links.

Individual articles and essays pertaining to your subject area that are NOT part of a relevant broader resource.

Sites primarily consisting of work by students.

2.3. Methods of finding new resources to catalogue

New resources to add to the database may be found via several methods:

  • Your own Internet bookmarks and favourites.
  • Trusted Internet gateways.
  • Links from other websites, such as university department pages or course sites.
  • Searching via online search engines such as Google.
  • References and reading lists.
  • Email lists and forums such as the JISCmail services.
  • Alerting services
  • RSS feeds
  • Word of mouth

2.4. Hints and tips for finding new resources to catalogue

Some hints and tips for searching for resources:

  • Just as you should aim to catalogue the most important resources in your subject before moving on to more specialised ones, follow the links provided by the most significant sites first. The websites of major professional bodies and large-scale projects usually offer links to other such major resources.
  • If you find a good gateway site, even if it is not itself a valid resource for the database (i.e. it does not include significant annotations, or it is a constituent part of a larger site), bookmark it in your Internet browser. You can then go through the site as and when you have time, and 'harvest' any good resources that it links to.
  • When using search engines such as Google, use advanced search options. Restricting a search to sites that are in an '.ac.uk' or an '.edu' domain can give greater prominence to good academic resources.
  • Set up email alerting services with search engines such as Google. You can save searches so that the search engines will email you when they add new resources that match your search terms.
  • Some academic blogs mention new resources from time to time. It may be worth subscribing to ones you find that do this.

Be aware that many of the most important resources in popular subjects will already have been added to the database by other cataloguers. It may take some time to find sites that have not yet been catalogued. Do, however, remember that you should aim for quality over quantity. It is important that the sites that are added are good, and can be numbered amongst ‘the Best of the Web’.

2.5. Suggesting a site for someone else to catalogue

If you find a resource that you think would be useful to have , but which you do not have the necessary expertise to catalogue yourself, follow the process detailed below, but change the status of the newly created record to suggested.

3. Data categories

3.1. URL / Title check (MANDATORY)

You MUST check that the resource you wish to add is not already in the database. DEDUPLICATING RECORDS IS A WASTE OF EVERYONE'S TIME AND RESOURCES.

Some resources are available at more than one location on the Internet, and may be known by alternative titles, so it is important to search the public catalogue as a first check. What if there are no matches?

If you are certain that your resource is not already in the database, then it is time to add it… This record is now effectively ‘owned’ by you, and it is your responsibility to complete the metadata and description and make it available to the public in good time. If you will not be able to complete a record within a couple of weeks of creating it, or if you do not have the required expertise to complete the record yourself, you should change its status to suggested, so that another cataloguer can take over.

  • Before changing a record’s status to suggested, you should complete the title field, the URL, the language field, and, most importantly, enter the appropriate subgateway(s) to bring the record to the attention of an appropriate cataloguer.

If you are a probationary cataloguer, you should alert team after completing your allotted number of probationer records. Do not add any more records until you have received feedback on your first batch, along with permission to continue cataloguing.

3.2. Cataloguing Permissions

Different cataloguers have different permissions levels, depending on their experience. New probationer cataloguers will have a lower permissions level than those who have completed the training process, for instance. Staff have access to additional features to assist with managing the catalogue.

If you find that you cannot complete work assigned to you due to certain functions being off-limits, let us know and we will change your permission level as required.

3.3. Mandatory and optional fields

In these cataloguing guidelines, you will find that each of the form fields has been labelled to indicate whether it should always be completed:

  • MANDATORY fields must always be completed before a record is made live
  • AS REQUIRED fields should be completed if the required information is available on the website or relevant to users
  • AUTO fields are completed by the system itself, and should not be touched by the user

3.4. Title (Mandatory)

Enter the formal name of the resource in this field. The title should be entered as it is stated on the Web page in its original language, preserving the word order and spelling. Omit an initial article (‘the’ or ‘a’) unless the title will not make sense without it.

If the title is not in English, you should enter an English translation of the title in the first Alternative Title field.

It can sometimes be hard to establish the ‘original’ language of a website. If there is an English version that is not obviously inferior to other language versions, assume for simplicity’s sake that this is the ‘original’. If no English version is available, you will need to use your judgment as to the primary language.

Do not copy and paste from the website. Use HTML entities for non-ASCII characters such as accented characters and ampersands. Do not put a full stop at the end of the field.

In general, take the information from the resource itself – not from the Windows taskbar.

3.4.1. Capitalization rules

We has a standard form for capitalization in the Title field:

  • Use capital letters for the first letter of the first word and proper nouns only, (but respect capitalization practice inherent to a particular language).
  • Punctuation need not reflect the usage of the original.
  • Use HTML entities for non-ASCII characters such as accented characters and ampersands.
  • Journal titles should not be capitalized.
  • Capitalize organisations as given by the organisation itself:

3.4.2. Capitalization examples

  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Willkomemn in Neanderthal Museum
  • David M. Robinson memorial collection of Greek and Roman antiquities
  • Journal of intercultural and interdisciplinary archaeology (JIIA)

3.4.3. In/definite articles as the first word of a title

Enter the full and proper name of the resource, however:

  • Do not use the in/definite article as the first word of the title, unless the title does not make sense without it.
  • If the in/definite article is essential, put it at the end, after a comma.

3.4.4. In/definite article examples


  • Enter The Economist as Economist, The
  • Enter The Ancient Greek World as Ancient Greek world

3.4.5. Potential Title problems

  • Where a site seemingly has more than one title, use your judgment to select the most appropriate. Enter the other as an Alternative Title.
  • For resources that are not in English, enter the official, native language, title in the main Title field, and enter an English translation of the title within the Alternative Title field.
  • For resources with no title, provide a descriptive title enclosed in [ ] (square brackets).
  • An acronym can be the used for the title of an Internet resource, but please include the expanded version enclosed in round brackets.
  • For very long titles, omit superfluous sections, indicating the omission with ‘…’
  • When abbreviating words, only put a full-stop at the end of abbreviations where the last letter is not the last letter of the word, e.g. for doctor enter Dr; for professor enter Prof.

3.4.6. More example titles

  • NINCH (the national initiative for a networked cultural heritage)
  • DRHA (digital resources in the humanities and arts)
  • [Digital images of Rome]
  • After the day of infamy ... interviews following the attack on Pearl Harbor
  • ACH (association for computers and the humanities) jobs

3.4.7. Subtitles

If a resource has a subtitle, this should be entered along with the main title in the Title field, not as an alternative title. The subtitle should follow the main title, separated by <space><colon><space>. The subtitle should start with a lower-case letter and otherwise follow the above rules for the Title field.

In some instances, the title of an online resource as given on the website may include a subtitle separated from the main title by a character other than a colon, a dash for example. You should change this to a colon.

  • Adelmorn, the outlaw : a romantic drama in three acts
  • Cherry picking in Australia : a guide for adventurers
  • Internet public library : Shakespeare bookshelf
  • Victorian women writers project : the library as a creator and publisher of electronic texts
  • Maecenas : images of ancient Greece and Rome

Subtitles often provide important information for our users. Do not, however, include a subtitle if it is lengthy and contains no relevant information.

3.4.8. Acronyms in titles

Include acronyms of organisations, where appropriate, in brackets after the title. Do not add punctuation between the letters, e.g.

  • Royal Institute of British Engineers (RIBE), not R.I.B.E.

3.5. Alternative Title (As Required)

If the resource you are cataloguing is known by more than one name, you should enter any alternatives in the Alternative Title field. Also use the Alternative Title field for English translations of non-English titles. If you have translated the title into English yourself, you should enclose it in square brackets, [ ].

The Alternative Title Fields follow the same formatting rules as the Title field.

Do not use the Alternative Title field to record subtitles. These should appear with the main title in the Title field.

Do not use the Alternative Title field to write out in full acronyms that have appeared in the Title field. That should be done in the Title field itself.

3.5.1. Alternative Title examples

  • Where the title is Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru enter the Alternative Title as Dictionary of the Welsh language
  • Where the title is Thesaurus musicarum italicarum (TmiWeb) and no translation is offered on the website enter your own translation in Alternative Title as [Treasury of Italian music]

3.6. URL (Mandatory)

You must enter the URL (Unique Resource Locator) of the web resource. This is the string of characters that is visible in the address bar of your Internet browser. It usually begins http://...

Always start with the first part of the URL, the protocol (usually http but https or ftp are common alternatives). This tells your browser how to deal with the file that it is about to open. Do not begin the URL with www…

Do include a trailing slash (‘/’)at the end of the URL, unless it is pointing to a specific file name e.g. .cfm, .cgi, .htm, .html, .jsp, .pdf, .php, .pl etc. Always try removing text after the final trailing slash to see if the simpler URL still resolves to the correct resource.

3.6.1. Use the simplest URL

You should find the simplest form of the URL that calls up the resource you are cataloguing and copy and paste this into the record (this is the only instance in which you should copy and paste from outside the form!). In order to find the simplest form of the URL follow these steps:

First, look to see if the resource has a specific home page. Most pages within a website will include a link back to the site's home page.

If there is no obvious link to a homepage, remove the last section of text from the displayed URL, back to the next trailing slash character '/', and press return. If the web page still loads correctly, use this form of the address. For example: http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/index.xml goes to the same page as http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/ so you use the second, shorter version of the URL.

You may wish to try removing more text from the end of the URL, back to the previous trailing slash. This will sometimes reveal a parent site that might be better to catalogue than the particular page you first viewed. Example: http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/using/index.xml is a subsection of http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/ where it is more appropriate to catalogue the full site rather than the sub-section.

If, when you remove a part of the URL, you arrive at a 'page not found', or 'access denied' screen, return to the initial URL by clicking your browser's 'back' button. (Although before going back you can try removing a further part of the URL to see if that takes you to a main page to which you have access).

By cataloguing a URL in this way the database can make meaningful checks for existing records when a new one is added.

3.6.2. Use a persistent URL

In several cases, more than one URL will point to the same page, for example, the following URLs might all point to a project's home page:

  • http://www.123.123.45/browse.php=id?_234_english htm
  • http://www.project.ac.uk/index.html
  • http://www.project.ac.uk/

You should seek to enter the shortest and most meaningful functioning URL, in this case http://www.project.ac.uk/.

In some cases, a site with a URL of the format illustrated in the second and third examples above might resolve itself to a complex (and often temporary) URL such as that as the first example. In such instances, do not copy the complex 'final' Web address to the URL field, but use the more meaningful variant, as this is likely to be the persistent address.

Add alternative non-persistent URLs to the Additional URLs field (section 6.5.)

3.7. Additional URLs (As Required)

The URL is a repeatable field so you may enter more than one Web address here. In contrast to the advice given for other fields, it is actually a good idea to copy and paste from your browser here, to ensure accuracy. The first (main) URL should match the persistent address of the resource in its original language. For the Arts and Humanities the other URLs will only be used where it has been possible to discover that the same resource may be accessed via different URLs.

3.8. Language (Mandatory)

In the Language field beneath the primary URL field, you should select every language in which there is significant content in the resource. You should also select every language in which the resource itself is available. If you need to add more than one language, hold down the <Ctrl> key whilst clicking on each language in turn.

Do not add a language unless a significant part of the website is available in that language. If, for instance, the only part of a site with an English language version is the ‘about’ page, it will probably not be worth adding English as a language.

If a language is the subject of a resource, but that resource has little actual content in that language, then you should not add it to the language field, but rather mention it in the description instead. You should also consider cataloguing it under its relevant area studies heading.

If you need to add a language that is not in the list, please enter it in the text box using the 3-letter code available from the list linked to from the form (3-letter ISO 639-2 code http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php).

A handful of languages have two codes: a ‘B’ code (bibliographic); and a ‘T’ code (terminology). Please enter the ‘B’ code in such instances.

Some unusual languages may not be displayed in their correct form in the public interface. Please report any instances of this that you spot.

3.8.1. Language examples

  • A site designed for teaching Spanish Studies to English students might feature relatively little content in Spanish. In this case it should be assigned English only
  • A database of ancient Greek inscriptions (in Greek) may be available in English, German, and French language versions. In this instance it should be assigned English, German, French, and Greek (Ancient) languages.

3.9. Description (Mandatory)

You must describe the resource in your own words (100-250), ensuring that the first few sentences explain all the essential information users will need to know. Later sentences should go into more detail about the content and value of the resource.

The resource description forms the heart of the record. The purpose of the description is to help users decide whether or not the resource will be of interest to them, without themselves having to explore every part of the website. The description should be concise but comprehensive, explaining the important features of a resource in clear, lucid English. Descriptions should be written in full sentences with impeccable spelling and grammar.

Cataloguers should not copy any part of any other description of the resource, either from the website under review, or from any other review or description of the site. If you must cite text from the resource itself, enclose it in quotation marks and ensure the source of the quotation is obvious. All descriptions should be both factually accurate and support the information entered into the other fields of the cataloguing form.

It is important that cataloguers avoid time-sensitive statements and comments, which may become inaccurate or invalid should the resource be developed further. If there is no way of avoiding a time-sensitive statement, you should introduce it with the phrase ‘as of April 2007’, or something similar. One means of avoiding such awkward constructions is to play things safe with terms such as ‘more than’ or ‘over’, e.g. ‘Intute holds more than 10,000 records’. Most databases tend to grow rather than shrink, so this kind of statement will usually remain true (albeit become a little misleading) several years later.

The presence of commercial websites in the database is sometimes criticised by those working in disciplines where such resources are not essential to study. In disciplines such as fashion and beauty, however, these sites are often vital. To head off criticism when describing such resources, cataloguers must clearly indicate their usefulness to those in FE and HE immediately after the opening sentence explaining what they are. Ensure that the resource type ‘Company’ has been selected when cataloguing commercial enterprises.

A 2006 Intute survey of researchers established that the most important things they wished to know about an online resource were:

  • Is the content accurate and reliable?
  • Is it a credible, authoritative resource, created and published to academic standards?
  • Is it up to date and well maintained?
  • In what ways is the resource relevant to my own research?
  • Is the resource user-friendly and easy to navigate?

A good description of a resource for researchers will attempt to answer these questions. Whilst these points are likely to be relevant to other audiences as well, bear in mind that resources intended for teachers or administrators might require a slightly different emphasis. Think about the likely audience for each resource, and use the description to explain why and how it may be of use to them. Teachers, for example, might want to know whether a resource is designed to address a particular syllabus.

There are various other issues that you should consider when writing resource descriptions. It can be helpful to think in terms of What? Who? Why? How? When? Where?

  • What is the resource about? What does it really offer? What type of resource is it?
  • Who is providing the resource? Who is it targeted at?
  • Why have they chosen to make it available? Why might it interest a particular user?
  • How does one access the resource? Are there any access issues, technical, financial, or otherwise?
  • Is it of specific relevance to a particular geographic region, or time period?
  • What is the context of the resource? How does it fit in to the ‘bigger picture’? Is it original? Is it based on something else? How does it differ from other resources? Is it the best of its kind?

Descriptions may include evaluative comments and assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the resource in question. Many users find such remarks helpful. Bear in mind, however, that if you find yourself being strongly critical of a resource, it may indicate that the resource is not good enough to be in the catalogue in the first place!

3.9.1. The ten golden rules of resource descriptions

  • Use clear, grammatical, standard English.
  • Ensure descriptions are factually accurate.
  • The opening sentences of the description should tell the user, in broad terms, all they need to know about the resource.
  • Descriptions must be written in the cataloguer's own words.
  • Do not copy and paste!
  • Descriptions should consist of at least 100 words, rarely more than 250.
  • Descriptions should cover all notable features of a resource.
  • 'Key words' should be worked in to descriptions where possible to assist searching.
  • Avoid time-sensitive comments – online resource may change regularly!
  • Ensure the description corresponds with other fields in the record.

3.9.2. Description Formatting

  • You may break your descriptions into paragraphs to make them easier to read. Use paragraphs tags to achieve this. Each paragraph should open with the <p> tag, and conclude with the </p> tag:

    <p>This is an example of text formatted as a paragraph.</p> <p>This is a separate paragraph.</p>
  • No other HTML formatting is allowed in descriptions. You may not use bold or italic text, bullet points, alternative fonts, or any other such feature.
  • Lists should be formatted as continuous sentences, should open with a colon ':', and include a semicolon ';' between each item. e.g. "The project website includes: contact details; a location map; and sample texts."
  • Abbreviations should be expanded in full on the first occasion they are used. e.g. "The AHDS (Arts and Humanities Data Service) is responsible for...".
  • Each description should be re-usable outside of the context of the database, so avoid reference to other resources and try to avoid starting descriptions with phases such as ‘”this is…”, which suggest a particular context. It is generally better to open a description with something along the lines of “<title> is an online resource…”.
  • When referring to personal names in descriptions, initials should be followed by a full stop and space, e.g. “F. D. Roosevelt”.

3.10. Keywords (controlled) (As Required)

You should enter here terms that relate the resource to any of the following particulars:

  • Organisations
  • Places
  • Subjects

Note that the AAT (Art and Architecture Thesaurus) concentrates on the Arts, but does have some humanities coverage. It is usually worth checking the AAT for relevant terms, although subject keywords for humanities resources will often need to be added in the uncontrolled keywords field.

You should enter the preferred form of terms as expressed in the AAT. Some AAT keywords include qualifying terms in parentheses after. In some instances the parenthetical words are part of the keyword. These are displayed in bold. In other instances, the parenthetical words only indicate whereabouts in the hierarchy the main terms belong. Where the parenthetical words are bold, they should be included exactly as they are in the AAT. Parenthetical words that are not in bold should be ignored.

If a keyword includes diacritics, it should be entered twice: once with the correct diacritics, and again without diacritics. This is to overcome certain problems with searching the database.

Assign up to a maximum of 25 keywords, but remember that “less is more”. Consider carefully each keyword before assigning it. Separate each keyword with a semi-colon space (;<space>). Do not conclude the field with a punctuation mark (unless as part of the HTML code for a special character).

An extraneous semicolon may occasionally appear at the end of this field when a record is edited. This is a minor system glitch, but it should not affect the output.

3.10.1. Organisations

Where a corporate body is the subject of the resource you should try to find that organisation’s authorized entry in the Library of Congress Name Authority (http://authorities.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First).

Corporate bodies listed in the LOC include government departments, associations, commercial companies, charities, educational institutions, and also conferences:

  • University of Birmingham
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
  • International Animated Film Association
  • Tiffany and Company

If the body's name is in a non-English language then use the official English translation if present. If there is no official English form then enter as written:

  • Zentralarchiv des internationalen Kunsthandels
  • Stichting Nationaal Contact Monumenten (Netherlands)

If the name is specific to a particular place then add the place name in parenthesis:

  • National Gallery of Art (Nigeria)

If the name alone does not convey the idea of a corporate body, add a general designation in English:

  • Wide White Space (Gallery : Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Women Make Movies (Firm)

Follow the Library of Congress Name Authority when referring to subordinate bodies of a corporate body. This normally begins with the ‘parent’ organisation, and proceeds down to the part immediately responsible for the resource, with a full stop after each step. In the LOC, ‘department’ is abbreviated to ‘dept.’. ‘Department’ should be written in full.

  • Yale University. Center for British Art
  • Great Britain. Department for Culture, Media and Sport

If in doubt, enter the name as written and place any additional information in parenthesis. Common abbreviations can be placed in parenthesis after the main entry. These should be placed in separate parentheses, as they are not part of the authority name:

  • Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) (MoMA)
  • Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM)

3.10.2. Subjects

Use the AAT for subject keywords; select terms from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/. Enter terms as they appear in the thesaurus; use preferred terms - alternative terms can be added to keywords (uncontrolled) field below.

Please be aware that the AAT is primarily intended for arts subjects. When cataloguing humanities resources, you should enter sensible subject keywords in the Keywords (Uncontrolled) field.

The Library of Congress does include some subject keywords, but these are highly variable, so it is generally best to ignore them and create your own sensible keywords in the Keywords (uncontrolled) field.

3.11. Keywords (uncontrolled) (As Required)

If you think that there are further keywords that could be applied to the resource, which are not covered by the controlled keywords, enter them here. These will generally be subject keywords or alternative names that may be used to identify people in the People Index, but which are not Library of Congress authorised headings.

The Keywords fields are searchable by users of the database. Therefore keywords must be relevant to the resource being described. Ask yourself, "If I were a user searching for that particular keyword, would I be happy to see this result?"

  • Try and think 'around' subjects - don't just enter the terms used in the text of a site (e.g. a site all about a group of jazz musicians might not use the word 'musicians').
  • Give alternative names, spellings and abbreviations in common use (including the British spellings not listed in the AAT), e.g. jewellery - the AAT uses American spellings (jewelry).
  • Don't assume users will search like you. Give some thought to how else they might search for records.
  • Don't try to second guess every possible combination of words a user might enter.
  • Don't include misspellings.
  • Avoid repeating information. e.g. enter: ceramics; ceramic; clay; artists; designers; ceramicists, rather than: ceramics; ceramic; clay; ceramic products; ceramics products; clay products; ceramic artists; ceramics artists; clay artists; ceramic designers; ceramics designers; clay designers; ceramicists.
  • Key terms/phrases should be entered in full where it is felt necessary (e.g. contemporary art).
  • Enter keywords as plurals rather than in their singular form, unless there is a strong reason why this would be inappropriate.
  • Try to stick to single words or short phrases. Do not attempt to ape formal library cataloguing schemes (e.g., go for poetry; neoclassical poetry, rather than British Literature: Eighteenth Century: Poetry: Neoclassical Poetry).
  • Sometimes the source code of a website includes keyword metadata near the top of the page. You may use these lists of keywords for inspiration, but stick to the above guidelines and do not copy and paste. To view the source code of a Web page, Right-click somewhere on the page and then select the ‘view page source’ option from the drop-down menu. Be aware that some websites will prevent you from viewing their source code.

If a keyword includes diacritics, it should be entered twice: once with the correct diacritics, and again without diacritics. This is to overcome certain problems with searching the database.

Use the same formatting rules for organisations and places as described in the Controlled Keywords field above.

3.12. Resource Types (Mandatory)

Select one or more resource types that identify the nature of the content of the resource. Work on the principle that fewer is better when selecting types, as this helps the user understand the primary type of object represented or delivered by the resource.

The Resource Type field should be used to indicate the primary type of the resource as a whole. Do not include resource types for small parts of a site – i.e. A scholarly society devoted to the poetry of Christopher Smart, which includes a brief biographical sketch of the author, should be catalogued under Associations, not Biographical material.


Resource Types

3.12.1. Resource Type scope notes

Use for resources intended to assist FE/HE administration, or for the website of a department within an academic institution that is responsible for the maintenance or supervision of the institution - for e.g. research administration, which includes grants and contract administration, and institutional compliance with government regulations. Do not use for the website of faculties or academic departments.

Note: Administration-related resources is no longer an accepted resource type. Administration-related resources do not meet the current Collection Development Policy, and should be deleted unless they serve some additional function.

Use for a website relating to a specific physical archive or archives.
Arts Projects (formerly ‘Projects’)
Use for websites of non-research arts projects. Exhibition and Art Galleries should be used for exhibitions, and Research Centres and Projects used for research projects.
Use for the website of an organised body of people that has an interest, activity or purpose in common; a society, collective, or user group. This will include most academic societies. Research groups fall under the Research Centres and Projects resource type.
Bibliographic databases
Use for a database that contains details of books, journal articles, conference papers, patents etc. May include subscription-only services if they are useful, or easily available within FE/HE. Online databases are stored ‘behind the scenes’ on the servers of the people providing the website. Only the results of queries sent to the database are actually returned to the user and displayed on their screen.
Bibliographic material
Use for citations and information about primary and secondary sources, preferably annotated, not held in a database (e.g. an extensive multi-section reading list). If a resource includes both a bibliographic list and a search engine for finding bibliographic entries, it should be catalogued under Bibliographic database.
Biographical material
Use for sites providing reasonably extensive biographies of a particular individual or group of individuals.
Use for Web pages that are produced in a journal or diary format. Usually updated frequently, blogs typically consist of personal reflections on topical issues and may include comments from readers. Also known as Web logs.
Case studies
Use for a resource that provides analysis and a report on a particular given issue (or person, or community) in a particular set (or sets) of circumstances.
Use for a group of resources that are to some degree separate from one another, but which are considered subsidiary parts of a greater project or entity. The separate resources may also warrant individual records if significant enough. Many large library and museum websites host collections of resources.
Use for a website of an organisation that undertakes commercial business - e.g. an architectural practice, a fashion retailer, a consultancy firm, or a software company. Bear in mind we does not normally catalogue commercial organisations unless their websites clearly offer something of value to the academic community.

Descriptions of commercial websites must clearly indicate their usefulness to those in FE and HE immediately after the opening sentence explaining what they are.
Use for a website that provides access to primary or secondary data which users can download. DO NOT confuse with Non-Bibliographic Databases, in which data is held in an online database accessed via a Web interface. An Arts and Humanities dataset might include, for instance, a table of historical population figures.
Use for an electronic (or digital) equivalent of a conventional printed book.
Use for permanent conference homepages and lists of conferences/events, exhibitions, webcasts, performances, conference workshops, open-days, festivals.
Exhibitions and Galleries
Use for the homepage of an art gallery OR a website intended to accompany, describe, or represent an art or museum exhibition.
Use for a resource that is primarily constructed of questions and answers, otherwise known as 'Frequently Asked Questions' or 'FAQs'.
Government bodies
Use for the website of a government department or office, or for an organisation that is funded by a government department to deliver government strategy or policy within a given sector.
Government publications
Use for online documents, databases, maps, image collections and other resources published by government bodies. May include individual documents or collections. Excludes actual legislation - see Legislation.
Use for online resources in which images are of central importance. e.g. sites which consist primarily of images and photographs of physical objects, paintings, prints, drawings, graphics, stills from a film, diagrams, musical notation, photomicrographs (for e.g. crystals, microstructures). Limit to sizeable collections of image materials.
Interactive resources
Use for a resource that requires interaction from the user to be understood, executed, or experienced - e.g. forms on Web pages, applets, multimedia learning objects, chat services, virtual reality environments.
Journals - contents and abstracts
Use for information on individual or lists of serial titles, where the full-text of the articles is not freely available. Includes all serial types, from refereed journals to newsletters (except newspapers - see News). Include titles where the full-text of articles is only available via a subscription and/or partial access to full text articles (perhaps a 'sample' such as indexes to subscription-only full text journals or to items not available electronically). Subscription journals should be considered lowest priority amongst the resource types, and generally should not be catalogued at all unless they are particularly noteworthy and contain at least some free content.
Journals - full-text
Use for online, full-text serials, from refereed journals to newsletters. There needs to be free access to nearly all of the printed content of a journal for the site to be classified as 'full-text'. Access to the text of e-journals, not otherwise published in print form, should also be included here. If full text access is by subscription only, then use Journals - contents and abstracts.
Lab experiments
Use for a resource that provides details of experimental work conducted under laboratory conditions, e.g. psycholinguistic experiments.
Learning materials
Use for online materials intended for teaching purposes or for direct use by students.
Lecture notes
Use for freely available lecture notes that have been created to augment teaching and learning.
Use for online texts and collections of primary and secondary legislation, including acts, ordinances, statutes, constitutions, rules, regulations, orders and statutory instruments proposed and passed by parliaments around the world.
Use for the homepage of a physical library.
Mailing lists and discussion groups
Use for mailing lists or discussion groups with subscription details and, preferably, online archives. Do not include mailing lists without an online presence.
Use for online resources in which maps are central to the value of the resource.
Moving images
Use for resources in which moving images impart significant value. Moving images include animations, movies, television programs, videos, zoetropes, or visual output from a simulation.
Use for the homepage of a physical museum.
Use for online news services: newspaper websites (including newspaper archives), television channels and specialist electronic newsvendors.
Non-bibliographic databases
Use for online databases containing any type of information except bibliographic details of publications. May include subscription-only services if they are particularly useful, or commonly available within FE/HE institutions. For data that are not structured or accessed in a database format, use the Datasets or Statistics resource type. Online databases are stored ‘behind the scenes’ on the servers of the people providing the website. Only the results of queries sent to the database are actually returned to the user and displayed on their screen.
Non-profit organisations
Use for the website of an organisation whose primary objective is to support some issue or matter of private interest or public concern for non-commercial purposes. Charities will normally be catalogued here. NOTE: Academic societies should generally be catalogued under Associations, rather than here.
Use for a collection of papers, articles, reports, or texts accessible from one location. You should also use this resource type for an individual paper, article, report, or text, but bear in mind that such individual items should normally only be catalogued when they are not part of a larger collection. Exceptions may sometimes be made for particularly significant or famous papers. This resource type includes collections of conference papers.
Patents / Standards
Use for patenting institutions, companies offering good patents delivery services, databases of patents and downloadable non-free patents, and full text patents, OR, for institutions issuing standards, companies offering good standards delivery services, databases of standards and downloadable non-free standards. This resource type is unlikely to be commonly applied in the Arts and Humanities, except possibly to Humanities Computing resources.
Primary source
Use for original texts or artefacts (and electronic reproductions thereof). Use secondary source for the analysis of primary sources. Examples of primary sources would include the text of a Charles Dickens novel, a digitized manuscript, an image of a Roman amphora, or a multimedia poem created on the Web.
Professional organisations
Use for the website of an organisation that is made up of professional persons for the advancement of their (non-academic) profession. Academic societies should be catalogued under Association. Non-academic professional organisations are likely to be few and far between in the Arts and Humanities. An example might be a membership organisation for rescue archaeologists employed by local councils.
Reference sources
Use for reference materials, such as dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopaedias, directories etc. This is the electronic equivalent of the reference section of a bookshop or library.
Research centres and projects
Use for websites of university-based, government-run, or private research institutes or centres. Also use for the homepages of research projects or sites dedicated to the dissemination of results from a particular research project.
Resource guides and directories
Use for a large directory of resources of relevance to our own target audiences. Such directories should be annotated and extensive if they are to meet the criteria of the Collection Development Policy.
Use for an evaluation of a publication, work or performance, such as a book, film, work of art, musical composition, or performance.
Secondary source
Use for critical texts that analyse primary sources. Use primary source for original texts or artefacts.
Use for a computer program, either as source code or in a pre-compiled form, that may be available for installation non-transiently on another machine. For software that exists only to create or give access to an interactive environment, use Interactive Resource instead. Use for a resource in which the content is primarily intended to be rendered as audio - e.g. recorded speech or music.
Use for a website that includes statistical data or collections of statistics, whether relating to human affairs or to natural phenomena. e.g. demographic statistics, usage statistics, etc. Not to be used for websites about statistics. COMPARE with Datasets and Non-bibliographic Databases to ensure you assign the most appropriate resource type.
Use for a document, software, or other media that has been created for the purpose of instruction for any of a wide variety of tasks.

3.13. Classifications (Mandatory)

All records should have one or more classifications assigned to them. In rare instances, a resource may not fit any of the specific classifications under a given subgateway, or it might be too general to warrant having classifications assigned. In such instances, you should just add the general classification for that subgateway – the one at the top of the list in the classifications subject editing form. Cataloguers should always carefully consider all the classification options, however, before ruling them out.

Only assign the most relevant classifications to any given record. It should be obvious to a user why a record is listed under a particular browse heading.

3.14. Country of Origin (Desirable)

If it is obvious either from the content of the site, or from the URL domain name, that a resource was developed in a particular country, select that country from the drop-down list. If a resource was created by a multinational team, or if it is an EU project, select Multi National or European Union from the list.

It is sometimes possible to tell which country a resource is published in from its URL. If the first part of the URL ends .ac.uk, or .co.uk, then you can be reasonably certain that it is hosted in the UK. A resource ending .edu is hosted by an American education institution. Other URL endings refer to different nations. A URL containing .com, .net, or .org cannot be identified as being hosted in a specific country without further investigation. The vast majority of websites are hosted in the same country as they were developed, but if the content suggests that this is not the case in your instance, leave the field blank.

The Country of Origin field records where a resource was created, not the country that it is about. If a resource is about a specific country or area, this information should be entered in the Controlled Keywords field and the Geographic Name field.

3.15. Resource Creator (Mandatory)

Enter data into the Resource creator field to provide information about who created a resource, their role in the resource and their affiliation. This is a repeatable field. Click on the + button to display the input boxes or to generate another entry box. Up to five entries can be added.

Resource Creator and Resource Publisher fields

You must enter at least one named person or institution that had a significant role in the creation of the Internet resource. If more than one person or institution was involved, provide details of the most significant contributors (up to five). Assign a Role to each name f(see below.

Names may be personal or corporate. You may also include personal and corporate name headings from authority lists constructed according to AACR2, such as the Library of Congress Name Authority (LCNA) (http://authorities.loc.gov/).

3.15.1. Name format

Resource Creator personal names should be entered in the first (left) box. Use the format (without < >): <Surname>, <Forenames/Initials>, <Honorary Title>. Then select the role from the drop-down box in the middle. Add the affiliation in the third box (see below, 6.14.3).

Corporate names should be entered in the format dictated by the Library of Congress Name Authority (LCNA). This normally begins with the ‘parent’ organisation, and proceeds down to the part immediately responsible for the resource, with a full stop after each step. See below for an example.

You should not include professional titles such as Dr or Prof., only honorary titles such as Sir or Lord. Initials should be followed by full stops.

  • Dickens, Charles (Originator)
  • Wilson, James A. J. (Editor), Intute: Arts and Humanities
  • Huber, Alexander (Project Director), Oxford University Library Services
  • British Library. Sound Archive (Copyright Holder)

Some older records include email addresses. You are no longer required to add these, but you should not remove them where they are already provided. These email addresses are not displayed in the public interface but may be used to contact individual resource creators.

3.15.2. Resource Creator Roles

We use a limited vocabulary to describe each person’s function with regard to resource creation. You should choose the most appropriate role for each person involved in the creation of the resource from the following list:

Attributed to
Designated by some authority as author of content. This should be selected if there is good reason to doubt the reliability of the attribution.
Primarily responsible for creation of content.
Played a part in creating resource, although not a leading role.
Someone who put together pre-existing information to create the resource.
Copyright Holder
The designated copyright holder, but not the author or publisher of the resource.
Web Designer / Webmaster
Responsible for designing and/or maintaining the website.
Project Director
Responsible for managing the resource creation.
Responsible for preparing material for publication.
Responsible for significant graphical content.
Metadata Compiler
Responsible for encoding a document or compiling information about other resources.
The person who created the original material that the online resource reproduces or adapts. This may be a long-deceased author, or anyone else for whom the ‘author’ role is somehow inappropriate.
Responsible for creating the software or source code.
Responsible for evaluating some other resource.
Responsible for translating material between languages.
This is a special role used to indicate that another cataloguer has had a hand in creating this record. It appears in a separate field in the public interface. Unlike the other roles, the first name and last name should appear in their natural order without commas. Also, be aware that (due to historical compatibility reasons) the role begins with a lower-case ‘c’ <firstname> <lastname> (contributor), <affiliation>

If a record was suggested by a member of the public, and they are happy to have their name associated with the record, enter them as a suggestor (if they are not otherwise associated with the resource). As with contributor, Suggestors should be formatted first name last name:

<firstname> <lastname> (Suggestor), <affiliation>

e.g. Andrea Vianello (Suggestor), University of Sheffield

When revising old records you may find someone listed as a resource creator who is no longer involved with the resource, they may not even be mentioned any more on the website. You will need to use your judgment when deciding whether to retain or remove such resource creators. Generally speaking, if you suspect the content they were responsible for is still present in the resource, then keep their name listed. If, however, they fulfilled a role such as a journal editor, which has since been filled by somebody else, it may make sense to remove them from the list of resource creators, or at least consider changing their role.

3.15.3. Resource Creator Affiliation

Only include an affiliation for personal names, not corporate names (even if the organisation responsible for the resource is part of a larger organisation).

For each named individual with responsibility for the resource, enter the name of the institution to which he or she is affiliated. Use the affiliation at its broadest level here, for instance, if someone were affiliated with the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford, University of Oxford would suffice.

3.16. Resource Publisher (Mandatory)

You should enter the name of the publisher of the resource in this field. You must name at least one publisher here, even if they have already been named as a resource creator.

You should also list any funders of the resource and any distributors working with the publisher to help disseminate the resource in this field.

The name format is the same here as it is for resource creators. Personal names are entered in the first box in the format: : <Surname>, <Forenames>, <Honorary Title>. Roles are selected from the drop-down box and the affiliation (if any) is added to the third box. Corporate names are entered as they appear in the preferred form given by the Library of Congress Name Authority (LCNA) (http://authorities.loc.gov/).

  • The publisher is often the organisation in charge of the Web space in which the resource is hosted, e.g. the museum presenting an online exhibition; or the academic institution hosting a particular research project.
  • If a university or other institution does not explicitly have a vested interest in the resource then the 'publisher' is more likely to be the person or organisation responsible for the actual content. Most academics have their own Web space hosted on their institution’s Web server. Materials placed here are often done so without specific institutional consent.
  • Internet service providers like Virgin, Demon, etc. may host a user's website, but are not usually the publishers of the Internet resources they host.

3.16.1. Resource Publisher Roles

There are three possible resource publisher roles. At least one publisher must be named for every resource. Funder and Distributor are used only as required.

  • Publisher
  • Funder
  • Distributor

The funder and distributor roles should only be applied to organisations and individuals that are not also the publisher.

A distributor is an agent or organisation that provides access to a resource that was formally published by someone else. The distributor is not (usually) the same as the organisation that hosts an online resource. There is no need to mention the organisation hosting a website unless it is also the publisher, funder, or distributor.

An example of a distributor would be MIMAS, who provide access to some online resources that are published by other organisations. Mirror sites are also provided by ‘distributors’ rather than publishers.

3.17. Date Resource Created (Desirable)

If you can work out from a site when it was first published to the Internet, enter that date here. If you cannot establish the exact date, enter as much information as is available.

You should always enter dates in the ISO 8601:1988 format, i.e. YYYY-MM-DD.

  • 2003
  • 2003-01
  • 2003-01-23

3.18. Administrator Name (As Required)

If it is evident from the website, enter the name of the site administrator here. Frequently this will be the webmaster, organisation secretary, or some other name mentioned in the Resource Creator field.

If multiple administrators are named on a website, you should generally only name the one who appears to be more senior, or whose name corresponds with the administrator email address. If there is no way of determining this, it is ok to enter multiple names separated by semicolons.

Personal or organisational names should be entered in the same format as they are for resource creators or publishers, although the affiliation may be omitted if it is obvious, e.g.

  • Stoke on Trent City Council
  • Smith, Jim

3.19. Administrator Email (Mandatory)

You must enter an email address to contact with questions about the website here.

If you have named an administrator in the Administrator Name field, enter their email here.

If you cannot find an appropriate email in the website itself, you should search for a contact email via alternative sources. Searching for the names of the resource creators on Google can sometimes turn up their email addresses. If this doesn’t work, you should use the http://www.allwhois.com/ domain search service. This will give you information about who has registered the Internet domain name on which your resource is found. Simply enter the first part of the URL you wish to examine (up to the first trailing slash), and click the search button.

If you cannot find an email address, but the website includes a feedback form, you may enter the URL of the form here. This option should only be taken if you have exhausted all means of finding an email address.

If all else fails, enter ‘Not Available’ in the field.

3.20. Format (Mandatory)

Enter the format of the website you are cataloguing here.

The default choice is HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language). Most Web pages are generated from HTML code.

If the website you are cataloguing consists of pages in multiple formats, tick each appropriate box.

You can often establish what format a Web page is in by looking at its URL extension (the code after the last full stop). Note that the main Web domain will not usually indicate its format, but you can assume it is HTML.

The following options are available:

the standard format for Web pages.
Extensible Mark-up Language. This is normally used in order to separate the content of a page from the style in which it is presented.
Portable Document Format. This format provides exact graphical uniformity across multiple platforms. Adobe Reader is required to open such a file.
Powerpoint Presentation. Indicates a slide show saved in Microsoft’s Powerpoint format. Powerpoint, or a cut-down version of the software, is required to read the file.
Microsoft Word format. Requires Microsoft Word or Works to access file.
Rich Text Format. A text file with some basic formatting. Readable on most computers.
Plain Text format. A basic text file without formatting. Readable on almost all computers.
. Use for any other or unknown extension types you encounter. You should comment on the format in the Description field and add it to the Technical Requirements field if available.

3.21. Technical Requirements (Mandatory)

Select one or more of the items from the drop down menu to indicate the requirements of the website being catalogued. For multiple requirements, hold down the <Ctrl> key and click to highlight the extra requirement(s) required.

In order to tell if some of the technical features in the list are required you will need to examine the code behind the Web pages you are viewing. This is generally fairly straightforward. Right-click on a page and then select the ‘view page source’ option from the drop-down menu. Then, search for a string within the source by simultaneously pressing <Ctrl> and ‘f’,and entering your desired search term. If you are unable to access the code, then don’t worry too much, but this does usually indicate that the site uses JavaScript!

The following options are available:

. Use for resources that are freely-available and do not feature any content that requires additional software or advanced browser configurations.
Subscription fee
. Use for resources that require some form of payment to fully access (whether personal or institutional).
User registration
. Use for resources that require you to register before you can fully access their content, but which do not charge a fee for use.
Ability to view large images
. Use for resources that contain very large images (nearly as large as full screen).
Use of frames
. Use for sites that display content in different frames. Frames usually appear as though they are separate windows within the browser window, and may be often scrolled independently if too large for their allotted space in the main window. They may sometimes be stretched and re-sized. If there is a ‘no-frames’ version of the website, then you do not need to select this.
Use of cascading stylesheets
. CSS offer a form of template for presenting information online. To see if a site uses CSS, you should view the source code and search for the string ‘CSS’. It will normally appear in the context of a command such as type = "text/css".
Flash plug-in
. Flash is a technology developed by Macromedia to display video or vector-based graphical content. If you see some form of video display window and right-click on it, you should be able to identify what type of plug-in is being used to display it.
Audio plug-in
. If an audio player not otherwise named in these guidelines is required to hear the content of the resource, select this option.
Video plug-in
. If a video player other than those specifically named in these guidelines is required to access the content of your resource, select this option.
Adobe Acrobat (.PDF)
. If the resource you are cataloguing contains .pdf files (which require Adobe Reader to view), select this option.
Quicktime viewer
. Quicktime is a piece of software developed by Apple for playing audio and video clips and allowing user interaction with visual content. Right-click on anything suspicious and you will be able to identify it by its ‘about’ option.
Unspecified plugin(s)
. Use for any plug-ins that are required to access the content of a resource, but which are not elsewhere covered in this list.
Java-enabled browser
. Some websites use Java Applets, typically to enable user interaction or display animations. If you suspect a resource requires Java, look for the text 'applet' in the website's source code.
JavaScript-enabled browser
. Many resources use this scripting language to enable greater interactivity and dynamic content, sometimes to respond to user-initiated events, such as highlighting a button if the user rolls the mouse cursor over it. Most browsers allow JavaScript to be switched off, which can cause some sites to malfunction. If you suspect a resource requires JavaScript, search for the string ‘javascript’ in the site’s source code.
XML-aware browser
. Most modern browsers deal with xml code fine, but if you see that a resource has xml content, you should select this option.
Extra fonts or character sets
. Some sites require a user to download non-standard fonts before text will display properly. This is particularly the case for sites dealing with ancient or far-Eastern languages. If you notice that characters are not displaying correctly, or see anything about font requirements on the site itself, then you should probably select this option.
. Shockwave is another plug-in from Macromedia, similar to Flash. If you see some form of video display window and right-click on it, you should be able to identify what type of plug-in is being used to display it.

3.22. ISBN (As Required)

If you are cataloguing an electronic version of a printed book, you should enter its ISBN number.

  • Enter the ISBN number without spaces
  • Use the ISBN-13 code (introduced in 2006) if it is available, e.g. 9780910608510
  • Separate multiple ISBNs with a semicolon and space
  • The ISBN field can take up to a maximum of eight ISBN numbers. If you need to add more, please do so in the Keywords (Uncontrolled) field.

3.23. ISSN (As Required)

If you are cataloguing an electronic version of a printed serial, enter its ISSN number here.

  • Enter the ISSN number with a hyphen, e.g. 1234-5678
  • Separate multiple ISSNs with a semicolon and space

3.24. Period / Coverage (As Required)

There are two separate fields under this heading. The first is to indicate the broad period that the resource concerns; the second is for exact dates.

If you wish to select multiple periods, hold down the <Ctrl> key whilst clicking on the desired periods with the mouse. Bear in mind that selecting too many time periods reduces the value of this field. Generally, if the resource you are cataloguing requires the selection of more than four or five time periods, you shouldn’t bother selecting any! Try to put yourself in the position of the user – if they are looking for a resource that concerns a particular century, are they going to find your resource rewarding, or will they more likely be puzzled as to why it has appeared in their search?

The second part of this form is used to record precise dates relevant to the resource. This is often used to record birth and death dates for resources about a particular person, or start and end dates for resources about events or specified periods.

If you are entering start / end dates in free text field, you should also add the appropriate time period from the list.

If you are entering birth / death dates in the free text field, you should also add the time period from the list during which the person in question was active. For example, Lord Byron was born in 1788, but did not become a great poet until the nineteenth century, so although the dates ‘1788 – 1824’ should be entered in the free text field, only 19th Century should be selected from the period list.

If you are cataloguing a resource about an event that took place on a specific day, enter this date only. Exact dates are expressed in the format YYYY-MM-DD. You should generally still indicate the broad period in which the event took place from the list.

Unlike the date formatting in keywords, start / end dates here should be separated by a <space><hyphen><space>.

Here are some examples:

  • Pompeii forum project: 1 BCE – 500 CE (period field).
  • Bayeux digital tapestry edition: 1000 – 1200 CE (period field).
  • Complete works of William Shakespeare: 16th Century & 17th Century (period field), 1564 – 1616 (free text field).
  • British posters of World War One: 20th Century (1900-1945) (period field), 1914 – 1918 (free text field).
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein online: 20th Century (1900-1945) (period field), 1889 – 1951 (free text field).

The period field always refers to the subject of a resource, not the resource itself.

4. Appendix 2 – Subject Scope Notes

4.1. Archaeology

The study of the past as it relates to human culture, through material remains. Archaeology does not include purely anthropological resources that make no significant reference to material remains.

See also: Classics, History, Visual Arts, Architecture

4.2. Architecture

Architecture is the design and construction of buildings and other physical structures, primarily to provide socially purposeful shelter. Here it includes the built environment, architectural construction, architectural design, architectural history, environmental design, landscape architecture and urban design.

4.3. Area Studies (includes languages)

Area studies here is divided between a number of different subgateways: African Studies; American Studies [covering North America and the Caribbean]; Australasian Studies; Celtic Studies [ancient and modern ‘Celtic’ nations, including Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, etc.]; Chinese; French; German [includes records relating to Austria]; Italian; Japanese; Latin American Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; Portuguese; Russian; Scandinavian Studies; Slavonic and East European Studies; South Asian Studies; Spanish; Other Asian Studies; Other European Studies [Covering the low countries, Switzerland, Greece, etc.].

Area Studies is a broad heading covering the study of various languages and geographical regions. It should be thought of as covering four general fields of enquiry:

  • Languages
  • Literature & Culture
  • History

4.3.1. Area Studies Languages:

All non-English language-learning resources should be catalogued under their relevant area studies headings.

See also: Linguistics with language-specific subheadings (for example Linguistics > Spanish linguistics to be used for, for example, linguistic analyses of Spanish).

4.3.2. Area Studies Literature and Culture:

This includes the study of the literature and culture of an area, whether historical or contemporary. It includes poetry and prose, art, music, architecture, religious customs and practices, folklore, etc.

If the resources deals with cultural phenomena that are of broader interest to UK scholars beyond their relevant area studies discipline, then you should also consider cataloguing the record under arts headings, such as Visual Arts, Film Studies, etc.

4.3.3. Area Studies History:

This includes the study of historical events local to the area in question. Historical resources that have a broad geographical coverage, or which are concerned with events of international significance, should generally also be catalogued under History.

Historical resources should be catalogued under Area Studies if they are particularly germane to the area in question, or if they are unlikely to feature in a general History course in the UK further and higher education sectors.

Examples of historical resources that should be catalogued under Area Studies:

  • "Decisions of the superior courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899". This resource should be catalogued under Australasian Studies, not History.
  • "British library India office records". This resource should be catalogued under South Asian Studies.
  • "The Chinese in California 1850-1925". This resource should be catalogued under both American Studies and Chinese Studies, but not History.
  • "Liberty, equality, fraternity : exploring the French revolution". This resource should be catalogued under both French Studies and History, as it relates to events and ideas that had an historical impact beyond the borders of France.

4.3.4. Area Studies Politics, Economics and International Relations:

If a resource includes information relating to contemporary politics, economics, or international relations, but concentrates rather on the culture of an area, then it may be included.

4.4. Classics (and Ancient History)

Classics encompasses the languages, literature, history, and culture of the civilizations of Greco-Roman antiquity. Ancient History, which is also included here, more broadly includes the study of the ancient history and cultures of the Mediterranean and Near-Eastern regions.

Resources concerning the ancient history of cultures outside this geographical range should be catalogued under their relevant Area Studies subgateway (for example Chinese, Latin-American, etc).

Resources that primarily concern non-textual physical remains should generally be catalogued under Archaeology, although if they are also clearly useful to those studying Classics or Ancient History, it is sensible to catalogue them under both headings.


• Greek & Latin Literature and Languages

• Greek & Roman Culture and Religion

• Greek & Roman Art history

• Byzantine Studies

• Egyptology

• Ancient Near-Eastern Studies

4.5. Communication and Media Studies

Communication and/or media studies deals with processes of communication, which is commonly defined as the sharing of symbols, (such as objects, pictures, written or spoken word, or sound), and the transmission of this information through some medium of dissemination. It encompasses the content, history, meaning and effects of various media, such as broadcasting (digital broadcasting, radio and television), advertising and journalism. The main subjects covered under Communication and Media Studies here are:


Animation and Cartooning

Broadcasting (Digital, Radio and Television)


New Media



4.6. Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature covers the study of literature, the contexts of literature, and the interactions between literatures across national and linguistic boundaries, and in relation to other disciplines.

For resources about specific authors or works, use the relevant Area Studies heading (including English).

A site about literary criticism would be included here (if it relates to a particular author or language area it would also go under the relevant Area Studies heading or English)

A site about William Shakespeare or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, including their works, would be catalogued under English and German respectively.

4.7. Cross-Disciplinary (Arts)

Cross-disciplinary refers to groupings of resources that, rather than draw together material on a particular subject of study from different disciplines, groups resources in common areas of interest. There are four ‘Cross-disciplinary’ categories, which are distinct from the ten main arts subject categories. These are: Advice and Guidance; Collections and Exhibitions; Image banks; and Teaching, Learning and Research.

4.8. Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies is an academic discipline that combines social, literary and cultural criticism and theory, and social and psychological concepts relating to various societies in general. It includes questions of nationality, ethnicity, social class and gender. Examinations of ‘popular culture’ should generally be assigned to this subgateway

Headings within the main Cultural Studies classification are not concerned with specific areas of the world, so much as specific cultural practices. Use the cultural studies heading within each Area Studies classification resources for resources that deal with the culture(s) of specific non-British regions. This then refers to the performing and creative arts, and/or the study of traditional culture, such as music, dance, folklore etc. within specific cultures, such as Islamic studies, Asian studies, African studies, American studies etc.

4.9. Dance

Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic, choreographed and set to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.

4.10. Design

Design is defined as the process of originating and developing a plan for an aesthetic and functional object and the research, thought, modelling, iterative adjustment and re-design involved in bringing a design to its conclusion.

4.11. English Studies

English Studies covers:

  • English language studies
  • English language learning
  • All literature written or performed in the English language
  • Creative writing
  • Rhetoric and composition
  • Critical Theory (relating to English Studies)
  • English culture

Resources concerning literary texts written in English by authors not usually resident within the British Isles should generally be catalogued under both English Studies and their relevant Area Studies subgateway (for example American Studies).

English history or arts resources should be catalogued under History or their most relevant Arts subgateway.

4.12. Fashion and Beauty

Fashion encompasses the study and commercial activity of the design, manufacture and promotion of clothing and accessories. Beauty includes the production and application of cosmetics and beauty products, and the commercial and practical activities involved in the beauty, health and spa industry.

4.13. Film Studies

Film and/or Cinema Studies encompasses the study of film history, the film industry and film theory, in terms of how films are structured, viewed and received by the audience. Film theory explores film in relation to reality, the other arts, the audience, and society at large. Film studies can also include the practice of filmmaking, film production and film exhibition.

4.14. Gender Studies

Gender studies should be applied to historical, cultural, social, or literary resources in which gender or sexuality are central concerns. The subgateway therefore encompasses 'queer studies', 'masculinity', 'feminist fiction' (celebrating and revaluating the role of women and /or challenging the traditional power of men), 'Women’s writing' (where the fact of female authorship is regarded as significant), and so forth. This subgateway should also be assigned to resources that concern cultural attitudes towards, or representations of, gender or sexuality in a particular region (for example Latin American, German, Asian etc).

Gender Studies resources are usually also assigned a second subgateway, such as History, Area Studies, English etc.

In technical terms, Gender Studies is actually a ‘virtual subject’. All resources that have been assigned the classification Gender Studies (under any subgateway) will also automatically appear in this subgateway in the public subject browse structure.

4.15. History

History encompasses the study of past events as concerned with human life, communities, values, and systems.

Resources that relate primarily to Mediterranean and near-Eastern civilization before the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century (CE) should usually be catalogued under Classics.

Resources concerning physical remains should generally be catalogued under archaeology, although if a resource is intended primarily for modern historians, and does not more properly belong under an Area Studies heading, then it may be catalogued as both History and Archaeology.

Resources that relate specifically to particular geographical regions may be better catalogued under their relevant Area Studies headings.

History should be used for the resources dealing with the following subjects:

  • English local history
  • British history
  • European history
  • World history

Not all resources that deal with past events should be catalogued under History. In general, if a resource is directly relevant to history syllabi at A-Level and undergraduate degree level in the UK, it should be assigned the History subject heading. A resource should also be catalogued under History if its content transcends national or regional borders, or if it is of broad historical significance. Sites concerned with events that have had repercussions well beyond their geographical origins should also be assigned the History subject heading.

Resources that are specific to particular geographical locations, and which are not concerned with the implications of the historical events they cover beyond their impact upon that particular locality or region, should be catalogued under the various Area Studies headings.

See also: Classics, Archaeology, History & Philosophy of Science, Visual Art (Art History)

4.16. History & Philosophy of Science

The study of the history of science and the philosophy of science (and related topics in the history of the natural and social sciences), including mathematics, medicine and technology.

4.17. Humanities Computing

The Humanities Computing subgateway covers the study of the impact of information and communication technologies on humanities research, teaching and learning within higher education - how computational media affect the disciplines in which they are used, and what these disciplines have to contribute to our knowledge of computing. It should be used for resources that directly relate to the application of technology to the humanities, NOT for sites that simply and unreflectingly make use of new technology.

Examples: the use of text-analytic techniques; GIS; commons-based peer collaboration; interactive games and multimedia in the research and teaching of history, philosophy, literature, religious studies and other subjects.

Sites may also be catalogued under the subject studied (History, English, Linguistics, etc)

4.18. Humanities General

Use this subgateway ONLY for truly interdisciplinary resources or resources that are likely to be of interest to anyone working in the Humanities, and which are not targeted at any specific discipline. A generalist encyclopaedia might fall under this subgateway for instance.

4.19. Islamic Studies

Islamic Studies covers the study of Islamic religion, culture, history and philosophy. Resources may be included under Religious Studies, Philosophy etc as well where relevant.

4.20. Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies covers the study of Jewish religion, culture, history and philosophy. Resources may be included under Religious Studies, Philosophy etc as well where relevant.

4.21. Linguistics

Linguistics covers the study of language in both its theoretical and applied aspects, in all its forms, spoken, written, and signed. It also includes cognitive approaches to language, and detailed studies of particular languages.

See also: Linguistic resources relating to a specified language(area) will also be catalogued under that Area Studies heading (for example a linguistic analysis of Russian – also Russian Studies)

4.22. Manuscript Studies

Covers the study of:

  • The history of writing (ancient and medieval scripts) in Latin or the Western vernacular languages.
  • Manuscript books and documents, both in their physical aspects and in their contents, including aspects of 'the history of the book'.
  • The persons and institutions connected with making, using and keeping manuscripts.

Manuscript Studies also includes: palaeography; codicology; diplomatics; illumination; literary manuscripts; and manuscript cataloguing

4.23. Modern Languages - General

The Modern Languages - General subject heading should only be used for interdisciplinary resources that cover a broad range of modern languages or their literatures.

If, for instance, a site would need to be catalogued under four or more separate language subgateways, you should consider applying this heading.

4.24. Museum/Library/Archive (MLA)

Use for the home page of a physical (rather than virtual) repository such as a library, an archive, or a museum. Resources relating to library and information science, museums studies, or archives administration should also be included here (these were until Dec 2008 catalogued under Communication, Media and Culture).

If an 'archive' only exists online, it should NOT be catalogued under Museum/Library/Archive, but under the subject heading most relevant to its content.

4.25. Music

Music is the art of combining vocal and/or instrumental sounds in measured time to communicate emotions, ideas, or states of mind, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, harmony and melody.

4.26. Philosophy

Philosophy encompasses the study of ideas concerning the nature of reality, value, and experience.

Philosophy includes:

  • The study of Philosophy's own history
  • Non-Western thought, such as Indian and Buddhist philosophy, but only when this philosophy is concerned with ideas that would not be considered purely religious from the perspective of the Western tradition.

4.27. Religion & Theology

Religion and Theology covers the study of religions and belief systems in general, and of particular religious traditions, texts, practices, and societies. It includes all major world religions as well as other faiths and newer religious movements.

If a religious tradition is highly regional and is being studied from a cultural perspective, it may make more sense to catalogue the resource under its relevant Area Studies heading.

4.28. Theatre and Drama

Theatre Studies refers to the study of the professional practices of those working in the theatre – from the backstage crafts to the production and performance of plays, musicals, pantomimes and other theatrical genres. Drama refers to the study of the literature of the theatre – i.e. the texts of the plays. See also, the drama classification within English Studies.

4.29. Visual Arts

The visual arts, in the widest sense, encompasses the study or practice of the art forms that focus on the creation of works, which are primarily visual in nature. It can refer to the study or practice of the fine arts (any art form developed primarily for aesthetic and/or concept purposes, rather than for utility), or the fine and decorative arts together. Here, though, it refers primarily to the fine arts, such as painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, or sculpture. Other artistic disciplines, such as performing arts may involve aspects of the visual arts, and vice versa – for example, performance art, live art is included in the visual arts. Although architecture, filmmaking and the applied arts/decorative arts may be included in a wider definition of the visual arts, these disciplines have been categorised separately under Architecture, Film Studies, and Design respectively. For current art practice, use ‘Fine and Contemporary Arts'.