Open access is our jam. Consistency is king and key.


Open Access

We share knowledge so you can, too. In the spirit of open access, we begin the long overdue, necessary trek to create and compile a knowledge bank with a rich selection of documents, frequently asked questions, videos and other sources to help guide you on the topics you need, when you need them. Learn on your schedule, not ours.

Industry Standards

With consistency as the driving force, MDL maintains the balance between a variety of partners and materials by developing guides, policies, requirements, training materials and other resources based on current industry standards. We train partners, so no matter where they land, they will find common ground.

We expect the information on this page to continually adapt as requirements, standards and technologies evolve.

Please check back frequently for new materials and updates.

Using Images

General Use

FREE to search, browse, and view (no log-in required.)

Personal Research or School Presentations

FREE to use for personal research or educational purposes. You can search, browse, view, and download low-resolution images with no additional permissions needed. All we ask is that you give our partners proper credit by including a citation to the materials in the style of your choosing.


Requires consent. Each of our partners maintains their own policies for publication which may or may not include a publication fee. If you are interested in using our materials in a publication, we can put you in touch with a partner representative who can assist you. 

Questions about an item?

Please contact us, and we will put you in touch with the appropriate partner institution.

Partner Requirements

Collection Development Policy (PDF)

Important collection information, including collection parameters, copyright, and use of contributed materials. As a partner, institutions must understand and agree to the terms outlined in this policy.

Dropbox (link)

File sharing offers ease of use for item and metadata submission via an MDL-created folder.

Metadata Best Practices (PDF)

Instructions regarding writing data for manuscripts, documents, photographs, and related materials.

Metadata Template (Excel)

Spreadsheet organized with fields ready for metadata entry and submission.

Project Resources

Authorities (link)

Controlled vocabulary for data types such as Name and Subject headings.

Copyright and Reuse Status (link)

Best practice right statements to communicate copyright and re-use status of digital objects.

DigitizatioN Standards (pdf)

Recommended master and access digitization standards for cultural heritage still images.

Formats Statement (LINK)

Accessibility and preservation recommendations for creative content in analog and digital formats.

Item Production Record (PDF)

Template to capture important information about each item.

Selection Log (PDF)

Template to track items for digitization.

Workflow Log (PDF)

Template to track digitization progress of each item.

External Sources

American Library Association (LINK)

Multi-institutional group founded to develop open access, collaborative library policies, resources and standards for enhanced learning.

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (link)

Open organization supporting innovation in metadata best practices and design.

Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (link)

Collaboration of Federal agencies creating a sustainable set of technical guidelines, methods, and practices for digitized and born digital historical, archival and cultural content.

Library of Congress (link)

U.S. preservation and conservation center for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and leads national guideline and standards development in these areas. (link)

International consortium tasked to address the needs of cultural heritage institutions with standardized rights statements and the technical and governance infrastructure to support them.

Special Note

Materials on this page were prepared in collaboration with the Library Technology team at The University of Southern Mississippi and follow guidelines of industry leaders listed in External Sources.