MESA Metadata Information

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Each ARC node emphasizes and requires different elements of the ARC RDF Schema. See below for samples of MESA RDF and recommendations from the Directors for metadata contributions.

Sample RDF

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf=""
        <!-- stable URI -->
 <walters:wam rdf:about="">
    <!--Standard DublinCore metadata-->
 <dc:title>Walters Ms. W.768, Ethiopic Psalter with Canticles, Song of Songs, and two hymns in praise of Mary</dc:title>

<!-- role information -->
<role:AUT>St. Yared the Aksumite priest St. Ephraem Syrus</role:AUT>
<role:PBL>The Walters Art Museum</role:PBL>

 <!-- add dc:type, dc:provenance, dc:format, etc -->

<dc:provenance>Probably created for one of the princes of the Gonderite royal family, whose reign ended in 1769</dc:provenance>
<dc:provenance>Names of Wälättä Ḥǝywät and Wälättä Kidan, who added texts in the nineteenth century, mentioned repeatedly in later added prayers (fols. 12r, 13v, 31v, and 37r)</dc:provenance>
<dc:provenance>Purchased by the Walters Art Museum through the S. & A. P. Fund, January 1960</dc:provenance>

<collex:discipline>Art History</collex:discipline>
    <!--MESA specific metadata-->
<collex:thumbnail rdf:resource="" />
<collex:source_xml rdf:resource=""/>
    <!--Link that MESA should send users for this object-->
    <rdfs:seeAlso rdf:resource=""/>


Requirements and Recommendations

In addition to the general ARC RDF specifications, MESA has the following requirements and recommendations for specific fields for projects in the MESA federation.



dc:provenance is not described in the Collex RDF specs
a statement of any changes in ownership and custody of the object since its creation that are significant for its authenticity, integrity, and interpretation.
Required? NO
Can appear? MULTIPLE


dc:subject is described in the Collex RDF specs, but the requirements for MESA are slightly different
a single keyword which is not currently displayed, but may be applied to tags and for future mining of data from ARC Partners sites.
Required? NO
Can appear? MULTIPLE
MESA requires that subject terms come from a recognized authority list, or the authority list must be approved by the MESA Steering Committee and Directors.


dc:language is described in the Collex RDF specs, but the requirements for MESA are slightly different
This element identifies the language of the text inscribed in or on the object (distinct from the culture of the object, which should be indicated using dc:subject)
Required? NO
Can appear? MULTIPLE
MESA requires using the language codes from the ISO 639-2 Language Code List. The content of dc:language may be either from the first column (ISO 639-2 Code), the third column (English name of Language), or the fourth column (French name of Language).

Converting to MESA RDF

There are several programmatic ways to convert from project metadata (be it in a database, XML, or some other format) into the MESA-specified RDF.

Example XSLT conversions are available on the XSLT section of the Collex wiki.

Jeffrey Witt, editor of the Petrus Plaoul Electronic Critical Edition, one of the MESA partner projects, has created a Ruby script to automate creation of his project's RDF files. It is tailored to suit the Petrus Plaoul project, but is customizable to other locations and other types of data (particularly TEI). The Ruby script is available at, and Dr. Witt has generously offered to help others customize it - you can contact him at