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This documentation is for Release 7.x.

Descriptive metadata (the metadata fields available to describe an item for search and discovery purposes) are stored as MODS XML. All other metadata properties related to administrative, technical, and structural metadata (between files and above) are stored as RDF properties from various ontologies. Structural metadata applied within a single media file is stored as custom XML for providing navigation within the media player. The following sections provide more details about the different types of metadata used in Avalon.

Additionally, Avalon metadata is in the process of changing all metadata properties to incorporate RDF and be compatible with the way Hyrax functions. See the Future Work section for more information on this work in progress.

Descriptive Metadata

Descriptive metadata, or metadata describing an Avalon item for search and discovery purposes, is stored as MODS XML. See Supported Field Names for MODS elements and how they are represented in the Resource Description Form. See Resource Description Help for tips included with fields in the Resource Description Form. See Batch Ingest below for descriptive field representation in the spreadsheet template for uploading multiple Avalon items at once. Bibliographic import from MARC catalog records can be configured to populate the MODS XML information stored for a single Avalon item. For details on transforming MARC fields to MODS XML for Avalon, see Avalon's customized MARC 21 slim to MODS 3.5 XSL transformation​.

Structural Metadata

Structural metadata provides relationships between files, items, and collections and is stored as RDF properties using PCDM relationships, including the Ordering Extension. See the File Management > Structure section of the Avalon Collections Guide for instructions on how to re-order files within an Avalon item. Structural metadata within a single file is stored using a custom XML schema (avalon_structure.xsd) to provide labels, start times, and end times within a single media file. See the Visual Structural Metadata Editor for instructions on using that tool to visually edit the structure within a file.

Technical Metadata

Technical metadata is stored using RDF properties from EBUCore and other ontologies to describe things like file size, aspect ratio, file name, format, duration, and mime type of files and objects stored in Avalon. See the Avalon Metadata Profile for property details regarding MasterFile, MediaObject, Encoding, Lease, Collection, Derivative, and Permalink classes.

Administrative Metadata

Administrative metadata provides information about Avalon users and activities such as adding, editing, and deleting files, items, and collections from Avalon as well as permissions associated with access to Avalon files, items, and collections. This metadata is stored as RDF properties with the file, item, or collection object and is mostly expressed using locally-defined internal properties. See the Avalon Metadata Profile for locally-defined administrative properties expressed on the Media Object class and the Collection class and schema.org properties used on the Lease class.

Batch Ingest

Batch ingest allows Avalon users with access to upload multiple items at once by placing media files and accompanying files (like transcripts) in a specified dropbox location and filling out a spreadsheet of associated metadata. The Batch Ingest Package Format provides details of how to package a batch for ingest, including details of how to fill out a batch spreadsheet for successful ingest. A template spreadsheet (batch_manifest_template.xlsx) is provided to make it easier to create a package for batch ingest. Please note that the column names in the batch ingest spreadsheet vary slightly from the field labels used in the Resource Description Form step for a single Avalon item, even though the MODS XML produced is the same. See Supported Field Names for a complete list of column names available in the batch spreadsheet and how descriptive metadata fields map to the MODS XML stored for an Avalon item.

Facets and Indexing

Descriptive, organizational, and technical metadata fields are indexed for search results and browsing facets in Avalon. The complete list of these fields is listed in the Avalon Collections Guide in Browsing and Searching. For detailed Solr information, see mods_behavior.rb​​.

Future Work

Sometime beyond Avalon 7, descriptive metadata will be stored using RDF properties. A migration plan will be developed at that time.

The current Avalon Audiovisual Work Model shows the plans for mapping MODS XML to RDF properties and is a work in progress.


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