Requirement Level: Recommended

Core Element: Yes

Describes: Original Source


Free-text, summary description of the content, such as an abstract. Provides additional search terms in natural language; provides important summary information for non-textual resources such as images, audio, and video. Descriptions are often required by publishers, and are helpful for summaries in search results views. Descriptions also contribute to web search engine optimization.


Digitized Map

Hand colored lithographed map. Shows businesses, fire hydrants, horse car lines, steam car lines, brick or stone buildings, frame buildings, lot numbers, street numbers, landowners, etc. Includes American Missionary Society and slaughterhouses.

Digital Photograph of Sculpture

Bhairavi is a female consort of Shiva. Her name literally means the "fearsome sounding one." Here she holds cymbals in her right hand and a weapon in the other, symbolizing both her terrifying and her musical aspects.

Digitized Audio

These interviews were done in conjunction with the symposium In Celebration of William Levi Dawson: an Exploration of African American Music and Identity at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century, Emory University, 3-4 March 2005. The interviews were conducted by Louis Massiah.

Web Page

Carter Center: During the Battle of Atlanta, Federal General William T. Sherman’s field headquarters occupied this vantage point in the vicinity of the present day Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.

Mappings and Encoding

Dublin Core: 


See recommended mappings for additional standards.

How Do I Fill This In?



See the System Tips section for more information.

Recommended Data Entry Type:

Free-text entry

Recommended/default values:

Descriptions are free-text entries, but should contain any information that may be relevant to enhance search results or provide additional context to a user. Descriptions provide an important source of additional keywords that may help users locate your content.

System Tips:

Metadata standards and systems vary in whether or not they allow for multiple Description elements; be aware of your destination environment’s context when using multiple Description entries in the same record.

When populated, Google reads <meta> description tags and uses them in its search results views for the page summary, but this search results view may only display 150 characters or less of description text entered within <meta> tags.


Guideline last revised: 2017-11-17