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Top-level Element: <note>

Element <note>
Definition General textual information relating to a resource.
Attributes type; displayLabel; altRepGroup; xlink; ID; lang; xml:lang; script; transliteration; typeURI
Subelements None



<note> is used for information that is not encoded in another, more specific MODS element. For example, in retrospective conversion of existing MARC 21 records, many 5XX note fields, while technically falling within the definition of the <note> element above, should be mapped to more specific MODS elements where possible; see <abstract>, <accessCondition>, <tableOfContents>, and <targetAudience>.

Each note should be entered in a separate <note> element and the note given a type value if possible.

A link to text accessible externally to the record may be supplied in lieu of or in addition to the <note> content.

Notes relating to physical description aspects of a resource should be recorded in the <note> subelement of <physicalDescription>.

Specific DLF/Aquifer Guidelines

The DLF/Aquifer Implementation Guidelines for Shareable MODS Records recommend using <note> if applicable.

In an OAI-PMH environment, where end users will be directed by service providers back to the original institution's site and a complete metadata record for access, <note> content that is not about the content of the resource may not need to be included in the MODS record made available for harvesting.

For DLF/Aquifer the use of the type attribute is not recommended due to the use of uncontrolled values.

The use of the displayLabel attribute is optional. The displayLabel attribute may be used to indicate the preferred labeling when displayed by a metadata aggregator. Metadata aggregators may choose to ignore this attribute.

See the <note> 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: Aggregators may choose to index and display content in <note> directly to end users. However, there is no requirement or obligation for them to do so. Therefore, the <note> field should not be relied upon to communicate information critical to use or access that is better suited for other fields.

Notes as a broad class of elements are not covered in the DLF/NSDL Best Practices for Shareable Metadata.

Element Description




Identifies what type of note is recorded.


This attribute is not controlled by a list and thus is open-ended. A list of note types used by MODS implementers has been compiled for interoperability.



Used to indicate that a type is in the form of a URI.


URIs identifying authorities may or may not be dereferenceable to human- or machine-readable information on the authority file, controlled vocabulary, or thesaurus.

altRepGroup; xlink; ID; lang; xml:lang; script; transliteration; typeURI; displayLabel

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


There are no subelements for <note>.



<note>Thesis (M.A.)--Yale University, 1974.</note>

<note>Based on a play which originally appeared in France as "Un peu plus tard, un peu plus tôt".</note>

<note>170 of the 177 pages of the original have been digitized. Prefaces and appendices were excluded.</note>

<note>Perspective map not drawn to scale.</note>

<note type="performers">Anne Baxter (Louise), Maria Perschy (Angela), Gustavo Rojo (Bill), Reginald Gilliam (Mr. Johnson), [Catherine Elliot?] (Aunt Sallie), Ben Tatar (waiter)</note>

<note type="statement of responsibility">written by Burt Kimmelman</note>

<note type="historical" displayLabel="Historical note:" xlink:href="">The Faribault State School and Hospital provided care, treatment, training, and a variety of other services to mentally retarded individuals and their families. It was operated by the State of Minnesota from 1879 to 1998 under different administrative structures and with different names. A more detailed history of the Hospital may be found at:</note>



MARC Mapping (Bibliographic)

<note> ≈ MARC 21 fields 5XX.

Some examples of <note> type attribute values are:

  • performers = MARC 21 field 511
  • venue = MARC 21 field 518
  • statementOfResponsibility = MARC 21 field 245 subfield $c.

See also MARC Mapping to MODS for the <note> element.

Dublin Core Mapping

The MODS to Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Mapping recommends mapping each <note> element to a <dc:description> element.

MODS examples expressed in Dublin Core:

<dc:description>Thesis (M.A.)--Yale University, 1974.</dc:description>

<dc:description>Based on a play which originally appeared in France as "Un peu plus tard, un peu plus tôt".</dc:description>


Last Updated: August 2, 2018