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Submitting METS Digital Objects

Institutions can contribute image-based METS digital objects (TIFF, JPEG, and GIF) and text-based METS digital objects (TEI, PDF, or imaged text). Files must conform to the CDL Guidelines for Digital Objects -- see Section 3, "Enhanced Service Level" specifications.

This page provides brief information about the METS submission process for ready reference. Before starting, please contact a DSC staff member at if you are interested in contributing METS digital objects.

Overview of the Process for New Collections

  1. Complete a Collection Profile Worksheet and return it to the CDL at
  2. A CDL Digital Special Collections representative will contact your institution to review the information that you provided, describe the CDL's requirements for METS digital objects, and discuss strategies for preparing and submitting your collections to the CDL.
  3. If your institution's collections are approved by the CDL for inclusion within Calisphere and OAC, you will be notified by your CDL representative.
  4. If your institution does not have an existing agreement on file with us, complete a CDL Digital Special Collections Service Agreement [PDF]. A pre-completed version of this form will be provided to you by your CDL representative. The agreement must be completed and signed by a representative who is authorized to enter into legal agreements for your institution (e.g., the director of your institution). Send the completed agreement using the following options:

    • Print and mail hard copies: Print two copies of the agreement and sign both of them. Mail the copies to us at:
    • California Digital Library
      ATTN: Licensing Department
      415 20th Street, 4th Floor
      Oakland, CA 94612-2901
    • Print and e-mail as PDF: Print and sign a copy of the agreement. Convert it to PDF, and e-mail the copy to us at
  5. Prepare a small sample of representative METS files. METS files must conform to valid METS profiles, which must be declared during pre-submission discussions with CDL staff. You may chose to use currently supported profiles, or a non-supported but registered profile. Note that using a currently supported profile significantly streamlines the ingest process.
    • Publication of METS conforming to existing profiles take approximately 2 weeks to appear in Calisphere and the OAC.
    • Publication of METS conforming to new profiles may require up to a 6 month timeframe, from submission of finalized versions of the METS.
  6. Submit the sample METS files to the CDL (approximately five to ten objects) by placing them on a web-accessible location. Relay the URLs of the files to the CDL at If you cannot post the files on a web-accessible location, contact the CDL to arrange to FTP the files or send them on CD/DVD.
  7. The CDL will conduct a technical assessment of the METS files to verify that the objects can be ingested, and relay any feedback to you.
  8. If there are no issues with the METS, the CDL will ingest them to a development server and provide you with a URL to preview and quality control check the objects.
  9. Once you are ready to submit finalized versions of the entire set of METS files for publication, post the files on a web-accessible location. Relay the URLs of the files to the CDL at If you cannot post the files on a web-accessible location, contact the CDL to arrange an alternate method to send the files.
  10. The CDL will notify you once the files have been ingested for publication. If particular files cannot be processed due to encoding errors, the CDL will relay feedback to you.

Obtain Submitted Files

Contact the CDL to obtain copies of your submitted METS files.

Removing Files from Publication

To remove a METS file from publication once it has been successfully submitted, contact the CDL and supply ARK URL or the file name for the file.

Edit, Replace, and Rename METS Files

METS files may be replaced or edited, using the same procedures for submitting new METS files. Editing includes changes or amplifications to the metadata or content files. When replacing a METS file, ensure that the ARK URL and file name for the new file matches the file to be replaced.

Alternatively, you can edit metadata for your digital objects using our Metadata Editor bookmarklet, available through your OAC Contributor Dashboard.

Last updated: October 12, 2015