Music Discovery Requirements

V.F Metadata Schemas: MODS

MODS is a general-purpose XML-based metadata schema developed by the Library of Congress as a response to perceived failings of MARCXML (its strict adherence to MARC conventions and lack of human-readable tags) and Dublin Core (its deliberate simplicity). It bears resemblance to MARC in terms of the types of metadata it can encode and to Dublin Core in the way its elements are named and organized, and it is generally highly compatible with both. MODS is commonly used in many digital library applications.

For musical description, MODS affords a high degree of granularity and controlled access to creators and works, with support for linked data URIs associated with names, titles, and subject or genre headings. However, not all of the more recent additions and changes made to MARC to better accommodate musical description translate seamlessly into MODS. In particular, there is no structured way to provide medium of performance information through a controlled vocabulary such as LCMPT, although it is possible to use LCSH genre/medium of performance headings in a genre element.

The Library of Congress provides mappings of MODS elements to and from MARC and Dublin Core and from pure RDA description. Also available are XSLT stylesheets for converting between MODS, Dublin Core, and MARCXML, or outputting MODS data to an HTML definition list.