The Metadata for Digital Content Group is part of the Library of Congress. I ran across this group while doing some research on metadata. I was struck by this statement from this group: There is no PERFECT metadata. I read what little I could find about this group and noticed that it is a working group that helps implement institution wide policies at the Library of Congress. Though this is a group internal to LC, much of their work is important and relevant to those working on digital projects elsewhere. Cataloging Futures also talked about this and quoted this from the group:
Consistent and rich metadata are needed in order to improve search of the Library’s collections and provide web services that users have come to expect. The MDC group members include catalogers, programmers and digital project managers, and represent different service units of the Library concerned with digital content. All are united by the common need for more effective descriptive metadata, which is of increasing importance for the burgeoning amounts of new digital material added to the Library’s website every day. In studying the question of “what are users looking for, and can they find it?,” the group determined that the overall quality of the online bibliographic records plays a big part in success or failure. So, how can the records be structured to help users discover relevant resources when they search? Jane Mandelbaum, manager in the Library’s Information Technology directorate and a founder of the group, said the group is focusing on “how we build standardized metadata that works across the spectrum of digital objects.” The group has made considerable progress through the creation of a master list of standardized metadata elements used to map existing digital collection records to a single XML metadata scheme. The XML metadata uses the Metadata Object Description Schema.
This is some fascinating work by this group, which started with the early digitization projects at the Library of Congress, such as the World Digital Library, as well as the Metadata Standards. This group continues to oversee institution-wide guidelines for metadata. Check out their page on Metadata for Digital Content, which has a link to the word document, Master Data Element List.
This is a mine of information not only on metadata and crosswalks but also provides tools for those working on digital projects.