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Top-level Element: <typeOfResource>

Element <typeOfResource>
Definition A term that specifies the characteristics and general type of content of the resource.
Attributes collection; manuscript; usage; displayLabel; altRepGroup
Subelements None



Information in <typeOfResource> is about the original item. For example, in the case of a digitized photograph, <typeOfResource> would apply to the analog original; in born-digital materials, it would apply to the original digital format.

This element includes a high-level type that categorizes the material in a general way using an enumerated list of values. More specific typing is done in the <genre> element.

The attributes collection and manuscript are associated with a specific value used in <typeOfResource>. For example, a MODS object that consists of a collection of maps with associated text would be represented by two instances of <typeOfResource>. The first would be "cartographic" with attribute collection="yes", and the second would be "text" (with no attribute).

Values for <typeOfResource>

The following values may be used:

  • text – Resources that are basically textual in nature.
  • cartographic – Includes maps, atlases, globes, digital maps, and other cartographic items.
  • notated music – Graphic, non-realized representations of musical works, both in printed and digitized manifestations that represent the four components of musical sound: pitch, duration, timbre, and loudness.
  • sound recording – Used when a mixture of musical and nonmusical sound recordings occurs in a resource or when a user does not want to or cannot make a distinction between musical and nonmusical.
  • sound recording-musical – Used when a resource is predominately a musical sound recording.
  • sound recording-nonmusical – Used when the sound recording is nonmusical in nature.
  • still image – Includes two-dimensional images and slides and transparencies.
  • moving image – Includes motion pictures and videorecordings, as well as television programs, digital video, and animated computer graphics—but not slides and transparencies. It does not include moving images that are primarily computer programs, such as computer games or computer-oriented multimedia; these are included in "software, multimedia".
  • three dimensional object – Includes man-made objects such as models, sculptures, clothing, and toys, as well as naturally occurring objects such as specimens mounted for viewing.
  • software, multimedia – Appropriate for any electronic resource without a significant aspect that indicates one of the other <typeOfResource> categories. It includes: software, numeric data, computer-oriented multimedia, and online systems and services.
  • mixed material – Indicates that there are significant materials in two or more forms that are usually related by virtue of their having been accumulated by or about a person or body. Mixed material includes archival fonds and manuscript collections of mixed forms of materials, such as text, photographs, and sound recordings.

Specific DLF/Aquifer Guidelines

The Guidelines require the use in all records of at least one <typeOfResource> element using the required enumerated values.

See the <typeOfResource> entry in the DLF/Aquifer Summary of MODS Requirements and Recommendations Table for further information on requirements of this element, its attributes, and subelements.

Aggregator information: Due to its utility for determining research value (for example, a researcher looking specifically for cartographic material), aggregators may choose to include this field in a brief display to end users, and may also index it to allow limiting or refining by this data. Aggregators may also use this field to determine suitability for harvesting based on their perception of end users' needs.

Related information is discussed in the "Types of Resource" and the "Describing Versions and Reproductions" sections of the DLF/NSDL Best Practices for Shareable Metadata.External Link

Element Description



A made-up multipart group of items that were not originally published, distributed, or produced together.
This attribute is used as collection="yes" when the resource is a collection. It may also be applied to electronic resources that are collections in the sense of a made-up multipart group of items. If there are multiple resource types within the collection, these should be enumerated in separate <typeOfResource> elements.


A resource that is written in handwriting or typescript.
This attribute is used as manuscript="yes" when a collection contains manuscripts and is considered generally to be manuscript in nature, and for individual manuscripts.


Strength of the form vis-a-vis the resource.
This attribute is used with usage="primary" when the main form of the resource is specified in the element.

altRepGroup; displayLabel

See the Attributes used throughout the schema for descriptions of each.


There are no subelements for <typeOfResource>.



<title>new naval and military map of the United States</title>
<title>Camp Council meeting; speech by Dewey Rodgers</title>
<typeOfResource>sound recording-nonmusical</typeOfResource>
<genre authority="marcgt">speech</genre>
<form authority="gmd">sound recording</form>
<typeOfResource>sound recording-musical</typeOfResource>
<title>Portrait of Django Reinhardt, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946</title>
<typeOfResource>still image</typeOfResource>
<titleInfo displayLabel="Title">
<title>battle-cry of freedom</title>
<typeOfResource displayLabel="Format">notated music</typeOfResource>
<genre displayLabel="Genre">sheet music</genre>
<title> Collection relating to A. E.Housman</title>
<typeOfResource manuscript="yes" collection="yes">mixed material</typeOfResource>
<abstract>Correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, galley and page proofs, newspaper clippings, printed material, monographs, and musical scores pertaining primarily to Richards's biography of A. E. Housman titled Housman, 1896-1936 (1941) </abstract>
<title>Fifty years of Coca-Cola advertising </title>
<typeOfResource>moving image</typeOfResource>
<genre>motion picture</genre>
<title>Cannon ball</title>
<typeOfResource>three dimensional object</typeOfResource>
<typeOfResource>software, multimedia</typeOfResource>
<genre authority="marcgt">online system or service</genre>
<genre>search engine</genre>



MARC Mapping (Bibliographic)

<typeOfResource> = Leader/06 with the following controlled list of textual values:

  • text (for "language material") = Leader/06 values "a" and "t"
  • cartographic = Leader/06 values "e" and "f"
  • notated music = Leader/06 values "c" and "d"
  • sound recording-musical = Leader/06 value "j"
  • sound recording-nonmusical = Leader/06 value "i"
  • still image = Leader/06 value "k" (and slides and transparencies from Leader/06 code "g" (projected medium))
  • moving image = Leader/06 value "g" (Note that value "g" in MARC 21 is defined as "Projected medium," so this is not an exact equivalent.)
  • three dimensional object = Leader/06 value "r"
  • software, multimedia = Leader/06 value "m"
  • mixed material = Leader/06 value "p"

Attributes are used to further indicate whether the resource is a collection or an aggregation of items (designated in MARC 21 in Leader/07 (Bibliographic level)) or manuscript in nature (designated in MARC 21 as a separate Leader/06 code that combines the manuscript property with a resource type).

See also MARC Mapping to MODS for the <typeOfResource>.

Dublin Core Mapping

The MODS to Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Mapping recommends mapping the <typeOfResource> to <dc:type>. In addition, these guidelines recommend that when mapping the values found in <typeOfResource> to Dublin Core Type values, External Link include both the MODS value and the DC value if they are substantially different. Similarly, the attributes of collection and manuscript should be included as an additional, separate <dc:type> value.

MODS examples expressed in Dublin Core:

<dc:type>still image</dc:type>




Last Updated: February 18, 2011