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Digitizing Collections: Controlled Vocabulary

A guide for digitizing collections for access and preservation.


  1. Planning 
  2. Selection
  3. Digitizing materials
  4. Processing files, creating master and access files
  5. Metadata creation or re-purposing
  6. Digital preservation of master files
  7. Presentation of access files in an online content management platform

Controlled Vocabularies

A controlled vocabulary is an organized arrangement of words and phrases used to index content and/or to retrieve content through browsing or searching. It typically includes preferred and variant terms and has a defined scope or describes a specific domain.

-- Getty Research "Introduction to Controlled Vocabulary"

Recommended controlled vocabularies


Format (Digital) 

Format (Original) and Genre

Geographic Names


Names (Creator, Contributor, Publisher, Subject)



Time Period


Other Controlled Vocabularies


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.