CanCore Pilot Project: Enhancing LAC Metadata for Canadian Learning Resources

By: Norm Friesen; January 15, 2006

CanCore has undertaken a small-scale pilot project to enhance existing metadata records for Canadian learning resources provided by the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC; see: This project enhances or adds value to these records not so much by adding additional data or fields, but by converting these records from Dublin Core to the syntax and semantics of CanCore and the Learning Object Metadata Standard (LOM). In this way, it enables these records --and by extension the resources they describe-- to be easily used in the LOM-based repositories of educational resources set up by provinces across Canada.

In an attempt to bridge the gap between this vital federal resource "supplier" and potential provincial and other "customers," CanCore has converted a small number of digital educational resources from the LAC's collections (originally tagged using Dublin Core) to the Learning Object Metadata standard (LOM). This was done to further enhance the usefulness and utility of these resources for provincial ministries, which are generally based on CanCore/LOM metadata. Six records (three in French, three in English) were thus converted manually, as an exploratory, proof-of-concept undertaking. Two of these records originally included "curriculum connections," which indicated how the resource might serve specific outcomes or topics in the curriculum of different provinces.

Dublin Core

Figure 1: The conversion Process. In a couple of cases, the records provided by LAC were formatted as tables, based on the Dublin Core Metadata Standard (ISO 15836), and also on Treasury Branch guidelines for applying this standard (  Using the "crosswalk" between Dublin Core and the IEEE LOM (provided at the end of the LOM standard), and the CanCore guidelines, these records were converted to XML-based LOM format.

Where possible, the LAC resources used in this pilot project were selected based on recommendations made by those working in provincial ministries --who were asked to identify resources that would meet important curriculum requirements in their provincial systems.  The titles of the resources selected for this "metadata enhancement" (and the locations of the CanCore/LOM records produced) are listed here:

This conversion process took only a few minutes per record, after the first "template" record was created.   This process could no doubt be accelerated and (at least in part) automated should a larger number of records be considered for similar enhancement.   The initial ease of conversion bodes well for more work in this area.

Two technical issues to note:

  1. The XLT file use as a basis for formatting these XML instances is from the CELEBRATE / European Schoolnet project.
  2. Little or no analysis of the content of the original resources was undertaken as a part of this proof-of-concept conversion process.  

Please let us know if you find any minor errors in record semantics and formatting, and any issues of interpretation that may be presented by these sample records.   We welcome your feedback on these (and any other) issues: ;