Cataloging and Metadata Practices Survey Report

  • Zoe Waldron The New York Public Library
  • Greg Reser University of California, San Diego
  • Margaret N. Webster Cornell University (retired)
  • Layna White San Francisco Museum of Art
  • Susan Jane Williams Independent Cataloging and Consulting Services
  • Lynda White Survey Consultant (University of Virginia, retired)
Keywords: cataloging, metadata, VRA Core, data standards, data schemas, professional development, workflow, databases, current practices


Findings from the 2017 Cataloging and Metadata Practices Survey administered by the Survey Working Group on behalf of the Visual Resources Association’s (VRA) Data Standards and VRA Core Oversight Committees. Data analysis is presented in the form of charts and commentary in three key areas of the survey’s focus: the scope of cataloging and metadata practice of visual resources professionals; the use and satisfaction of the VRA Core 4.0 data standard; and the needs of cataloging and metadata professionals. The findings are intended to inform this community about its prevalent practices, support the development of the VRA Core 4.0 data standard, and provide guidance to the VRA in how to meet current and projected needs through educational outreach and the development of practical tools for catalogers and metadata specialists.

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