Metadata Input Guidelines: Resource Type

Element Name

Resource Type


The type or category of the primary content of the resource.

Where Can the Resource Type Information be Found?

Resource type is determined by examining the physical item.

How Resource Type Works in the Metadata Form

1. Resource type – drop-down menu.
Yes - also see more information about required fields

How Should the Resource Type be Filled in?

Guideline Example
image_score - Musical Score/Notation
  • Use the most specific resource type that is relevant

image_photo - Photograph
(not "image")

text_letter - Letter
(not "text")

  • If the particular kind of resource is not on the list, use a generic resource type

image - Image

text - Text

If it is difficult to determine the resource type:

  1. Check the glossary (in the Comments section) for clarification.
  2. Consider whether it fits one of these scenarios:
    • Page images of textual items should be entered as “Text” not “Image”
    • A series of negatives/photographs should be entered as “Photograph”
  3. A page with both text and images should be entered based on which portion is most dominant or important, i.e.,
    • Does it seem like ‘text’ with accompanying images(s) – e.g., photos or illustrations in a letter or printed page?
    • Does it seem like ‘photograph(s)’ or illustrations with inscriptions and accompanying text?
  4. Consider whether someone would expect to find the item if they limit their search to one particular type

Other Examples

Proceedings of a convention (booklet)
Resource Type: text_book - Book
Handwritten tally of voters from 1836
Resource Type: text - Text
Advertisement (with illustrations)
Resource Type: image_artwork - Artwork
U.S. Geological Survey Map
Resource Type: image_map - Map
Resource Type: image_photo - Photograph
Opera score
Resource Type: image_score - Musical Score/Notation
Organizational chart
Resource Type: image - Image
Event flyer
Resource Type: text_pamphlet - Pamphlet


Glossary of Resource Types

Primarily Text-Based Materials

Resource Type Code Use for:
Article text_article A full article from a periodical, such as a journal, magazine, or newsletter
Book text_book A book, atlas, photojournal, ledger, etc.
Book Chapter text_chapter A full chapter that is part of an anthology or larger, multi-chapter text
Clipping text_clipping Newspaper clippings and partial excerpts from other published materials
Thesis or Dissertation text_etd Thesis or dissertation
Journal / Magazine / Newsletter text_journal An issue of a periodical such as a journal, magazine, or newsletter
Legal Document text_legal Court or government legal documents, e.g., affidavits, deeds, wills, land grants, warrants, etc.
Legislative Document text_leg Materials generated by state and federal legislatures, such as text of bills and resolutions, or session proceedings
Letter text_letter Correspondence
Newspaper text_newspaper Full issue of a newspaper
Pamphlet text_pamphlet A non-serial publication under 50 pages including booklets, brochures, small flyers, etc.
Paper text_paper Written composition such as an essay, working/discussion paper, white paper, etc.
Patent text_patent An issued patent including a description and often diagram(s)
Poem text_poem A poem
Prose Fiction text_prose A literary composition not classified as poetry such as a novel, novella, or short story
Report text_report A research, statistical, technical, or summary report written by an individual, organization, or other agency
Review text_review A written commentary on an item (books, artwork, journals, etc.) or an event (performances, conferences, exhibitions, etc.)
Script text_script Text of plays, speeches, etc., meant to be read or performed
Yearbook text_yearbook Organization (usually a school) yearbook or annual
Text text A certificate, handwritten note, or other text item not specified above (e.g., printed forms, business cards, invoices, tickets, receipts, ballots, meeting minutes/agendas, etc.)

Primarily Image-Based Materials

Resource Type Code Use for:
Artwork image_artwork Two-dimensional image such as a painting, drawing, engraving, graphic design, plan, etc.
Map image_map An individual map or unbound map sheet
Musical Score/Notation image_score Sheet music or score
Photograph image_photo Photographic print, negative, or slide
Postcard image_postcard Postcard (with or without handwritten notes)
Poster image_poster Broadside or poster
Presentation image_presentation Images or text used as visual aids for a speech, lecture, seminar/webinar, or other presentation
Technical Drawing image_drawing Architectural or engineering drawings
Image image Other type of still image not specified above (e.g., logos, diagrams/charts/graphs, illustrations that do not fit another type, etc.)

Other Materials

Resource Type Code Use for:
Collection collection Group or compilation of items
Dataset dataset Statistical data files, CD-ROMs of data, databases, etc.
Interactive Resource interactive-resource Video game, interactive virtual exhibits, etc.
Physical Object physical-object Museum piece (such as furniture, dishes, tools), architectural structure, monument, three-dimensional object (including sculptures), etc.
Sound sound Audio recording
Software software Application software such as presentation viewers, word processors, etc.
Specimen specimen Scientific sample
Video video Analog or digital animation, moving image, television program, etc.
Website website Webpages


More Guidelines: