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Archives & Special Collections

CONTENTdm Cookbook: Format

18. Format

This is a mandatory field. Every record must include the MIME Type of the access file.

sample of elements that show on each field page
Repeatable Yes. Enter each format in the same field, separated by a semicolon and a space.
Field Name Format
DC Mapping Format
Search No
Hide No
Vocabulary Yes. Choose “Use a controlled vocabulary from another field or collection” and select “MIME."
Definition The Internet Media Type (aka MIME type) of the digital resource. Format is used to describe the software, hardware, or other equipment needed to display or operate the resource.

Refer to the object attached to the record (the access file), not the archival master file.

Use IANA MIME Media Types

  • Consolidate IMT (Internet Media Type) and subtype into one text string.
  • New media types and applications are always emerging. If the resource format being described is not yet part of the MIME type list, select a broad category of object format for the first part of the MIME type, then use the file name suffix for the second half.

Some digital objects may involve more than one format, e.g. an oral history interview may include audio and text. Separate each entry by a semicolon and a space.

The Format element may influence a user’s decision whether or not to access the described resource. When the resource being described requires the use of software, hardware, or other infrastructures that are external to the resource itself, record that information in the Relation.requires element.








Template Yes. If all items in a collection are of the same format, use the Template Creator to input the data once for all records.
Nickname format

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