Ailla Logo Ailla Header


How to Use
   - Data Mgmt Plan
   - Formats
   - Access
   - Metadata
   - Delivery
AILLA papers


Metadata - cataloging archive materials

Download the AILLA Metadata Spreadsheet

Metadata is catalog information about each resource. Some of it is used in searches, some defines property rights, other parts document how the resource was created. Complete metadata makes resources easier to accession, easier to protect, and more useful over time. We recommend that you use the AILLA Metadata Spreadsheet to manage your language documentation corpus as it is created.

The best way to understand what metadata is and what information we want from you is to browse the archive and look at a variety of examples. The AILLA Metadata Spreadsheet contains a description of each of the metadata fields (e.g. title) and a set of controlled vocabulary terms (e.g. genre keywords.)


If this is your first deposit, you will be creating a new collection. This is an organizing layer for your materials that will help future users view your work as a coherent whole. Please take a few minutes to browse some collection pages to get an understanding of this concept. We encourage you to include collection overview materials, such as a bibliography, a summary of the project, maps, etc., anything that will help future users understand and make effective use of your resources.

Resource bundles

Files should be bundled into resources organized around a topic, event, recording session, etc. A resource might include an audio or video recording with transcription and translation files and some photographs. Using the AILLA Metadata Spreadsheet will help you to organize your files into resource bundles and provide all the relevant metadata so that we can correctly accession your materials. Some resource bundles consist of a single item, such as a journal article. Others have hundreds of items. For example, a book based on several performances of verbal art has these elements:

  • all the pages in the book, scanned into several hundred tiff files;
  • audio files in two formats (wav and mp3) for each performance;
  • additional photographs of the performers.

Depositors decide how to organize their materials into resource bundles, and provide descriptions of how the items in each bundle are related. Users can then use this information to reassemble the bundle correctly and better understand the data.

AILLA's metadata schema conforms to the standards for language resources defined by both the International Standards for Language Engineering and the Open Language Archives Community.

AILLA is a joint effort of the LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, the Department of Linguistics, and the Digital Library Services Division of the University Libraries at the University of Texas at Austin.
AILLA is also grateful for support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.
Legal Disclaimers | Graphics sources