Describing Objects


In this step, you will be:

  1. Creating a spreadsheet template

  2. Describing your objects in the template

Using spreadsheet ingest for the first time, it is best to schedule an orientation with CTDA Staff by emailing The CTDA will work with you to create a customized template for your institution and/or project.

Jump to

Creating a Template

  • Once you have chosen a template, you need to make a copy to your own Google account.

  • Do this by going to File → Make a Copy

  • Once you have saved a copy, you can fill out the spreadsheet for your project.

If you are undertaking a large digital project and plan on using spreadsheet ingest extensively, you should contact CTDA staff at to discuss creating a customized template for your institution.

Enter Metadata

Ingesting Newspapers or Books?

If you are ingesting newspaper issues and pages using a spreadsheet template, please see the Adding Newspapers Using the Spreadsheet Ingest Module guide for instructions on entering information into specific columns in the spreadsheet.

If you are ingesting books using a spreadsheet template, please see the Adding Books Using the Spreadsheet Ingest Module guide for instructions on entering information into specific columns in the spreadsheet.

Metadata Tips!

You should review the Spreadsheet Template metadata crosswalk before you begin. Below are a few tips to help you fill out your template to avoid errors.

binary_file column

Enter the file name for the object you are describing in this cell. The file name you enter in the cell MUST match exactly to the file name of the object, including file extension. If the file name does not match in spelling, capitalization and punctuation, the system will reject the object during ingest.

Review this guide on generating exact file names for your object to avoid headaches!

Title and Label Columns

The system calls for both a title and a label for objects. To make things easier, these two columns should be exactly the same.

Using the Pipe ( | )!

Most fields allow for multiple metadata entries in the same cell. Enter multiple entries with a pipe ( | ). For example, two name can be entered in the same cell as Smith, John|Jones, Ryann


Every name or company listed in the Creator fields needs a role entered into the Role column. If a role is missed, the template will not ingest


Use this field for PUBLISHED WORKS only! Enter the place of publication first followed by a pipe (|) and then the publisher, e.g. New York, NY|Scholastic, Inc.


All dates follow the YYYY-MM-DD format.


For a date range, enter the first date in the YYYY-MM-DD format, followed by a pipe (|) and then the second date in the YYYY-MM-DD formation, e.g. 1990-01-31|1991-12-31


This metadata element is required. If left blank or contains a value not int he drop down, the objects in the spreadsheet template will be rejected.


Enter the PID of the collection you want your object to appear under. The PID includes the namespace of your institution, a colon, and the text after the colon, e.g. 10002:CTDA

Double check this row in your spreadsheet. The system is only looking for a well formatted PID. It is not checking to make sure that PID exists in the system. You can ingest content to the wrong or non-existent collection.