Service description

Metadata thesaurus contains terms and expressions required in describing materials.The thesaurus is also suitable for selecting headings displayed in user interfaces.

The thesaurus has been organised according to entity-relationship structure of RDA text and FRBR concept model.

The use of the terms in the thesaurus standardises the vocabulary of descriptive metadata and simultaneously harmonises description in order to promote productiveness.The aim of the thesaurus is also to make it easier to produce metadata by collecting vocabulary and expressions needed in description as well as to clarify concepts related to them.

The thesaurus includes terms complying with both the ISBD and RDA description rules.The terms and expressions used only in one of the rules are indicated separately.

The thesaurus does not contain vocabulary describing the subject matter of the work, such as index terms.

Joining the service
  • Free of charge
Standards used


Contact information
Service address
Background information

The development of the metadata thesaurus is included in the KILDA project (library metadata into linked data).

Metadata thesaurus work group has worked on building the metadata thesaurus.Work group members are from the National Library of Finland and BTJ Finland.National description groups (e.g. Kumea, expert network for content description, Luumu work group) have also participated in the development of the thesaurus.In the future, the entire memory organisation network will participate in the cooperation.

The metadata thesaurus will be published in the Finto service as linked open metadata in 2015.

Swedish translation of the thesaurus 2015–

The thesaurus will be expanded towards RDA and for use by museums and archives in 2015/16.

Service users
  • Organisations
Steering responsibility

The National Library of Finland

Organisation model
  • Networking
  • Service is developed as part of basic operation of National Library
Index terms: 
Key words