pbcoreDescriptionDocument is a root XML element for the expression of an individual PBCore record. pbcoreDescriptionDocument can be used to express intellectual content only (e.g. a series or collection level record with no associated instantiations), or intellectual content with one or more instantiations (e.g. an episode of a program with copies/instantiations on videotape and digital file). This element is only applicable to XML expressions of PBCore.

pbcoreDescriptionDocument can only be contained by pbcoreCollection.

Usage: only repeatable within pbcoreCollection


  • xmlns required. Specifies the xml namespace for a document. For PBCore records, the contents of this attribute should always be “http://www.pbcore.org/PBCore/PBCoreNamespace.html”
  • xsi required. XML namespace prefix for XML Schema instance information. For PBCore records, the contents of this attribute should always be “http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance”
  • schemaLocationrequired. References an XML Schema document that has a target namespace. For PBCore records, the contents of this attribute should always be “http://www.pbcore.org/PBCore/PBCoreNamespace.html https://raw.githubusercontent.com/WGBH/PBCore_2.1/master/pbcore-2.1.xsd”


  • pbcoreAssetType – optional. The pbcoreAssetType element is a broad definition of the type of intellectual content being described.  Asset types might include those without associated instantiations (a collection or series), or those with instantiations (programs, episodes, clips, etc.)
  • pbcoreAssetDate optional. The pbcoreAssetDate element is intended to reflect dates associated with the Intellectual Content.
  • pbcoreIdentifier – required. The pbcoreIdentifier element is an identifier that can apply to the asset. This identifier should not be limited to a specific instantiation, but rather all instantiations of an asset. It can also hold a URL or URI that points to the asset.
  • pbcoreTitle – required. The pbcoreTitle element is a name or label relevant to the asset.
  • pbcoreSubject – optional. The pbcoreSubject element is used to assign topic headings or keywords that portray the intellectual content of the asset. A subject is expressed by keywords, key phrases, or even specific classification codes. Controlled vocabularies, authorities, formal classification codes, as well as folksonomies and user-generated tags, may be employed when assigning descriptive subject terms.
  • pbcoreDescription – required. The pbcoreDescription element uses free-form text or a narrative to report general notes, abstracts, or summaries about the intellectual content of an asset. The information may be in the form of an individual program description, anecdotal interpretations, or brief content reviews. The description may also consist of outlines, lists, bullet points, rundowns, edit decision lists, indexes, or tables of content.
  • pbcoreGenre optional. The pbcoreGenre element describes the Genre of the asset, which can be defined as a categorical description informed by the topical nature or a particular style or form of the content.
  • pbcoreRelation optional. The pbcoreRelation element contains the pbcoreRelationType and pbcoreRelationIdentifier elements. In order to properly use these two elements they must be nested with the pbcoreRelation element, and pbcoreRelation must contain both pbcoreRelationType and pbcoreRelationIdentifier if it is included.
  • pbcoreCoverage optional. The pbcoreCoverage element is a container for subelements coverage and coverageType.
  • pbcoreAudienceLevel optional. The pbcoreAudienceLevel element identifies a type of audience, viewer, or listener for whom the media item is primarily designed or educationally useful.
  • pbcoreAudienceRating optional. The pbcoreAudienceRating element designates the type of users for whom the intellectual content of a media item is intended or judged appropriate. This element differs from the element pbcoreAudienceLevel in that it utilizes standard ratings that have been crafted by the broadcast television and film industries and that are used as flags for audience or age-appropriate materials.
  • pbcoreCreator optional. The pbcoreCreator element is a container for sub-elements creator and creatorRole.
  • pbcoreContributor optional. The pbcoreContributor element is a container for sub-elements contributor and contributorRole.
  • pbcorePublisher optional. The pbcorePublisher element is a container for sub-elements publisher and publisherRole.
  • pbcoreRightsSummary optional. The pbcoreRightsSummary element is a container for sub-elements ‘rightsSummary’, ‘rightsLink’ and ‘rightsEmbedded’ used to describe Rights for the asset.
  • pbcoreInstantiation optional. The pbcoreInstantiation element contains subelements that describe a single instantiation of an asset. The definition is malleable but it should be thought of as any discreet and tangible unit that typically (though not always) comprises a whole representation of the asset. For example, an original master videotape, a preservation master video file, and a low-bitrate access copy would all be considered Instantiations of a single video program. All of the sub-elements held by this element are used to describe the intantiation specifically, not necessarily the asset as a whole.
  • pbcoreAnnotation optional. The pbcoreAnnotation element allows the addition of any supplementary information about the metadata used to describe the PBCore record. pbcoreAnnotation clarifies element values, terms, descriptors, and vocabularies that may not be otherwise sufficiently understood.
  • pbcorePart optional. The pbcorePart element may be used to split up a single asset so as to enable the use of all available elements at the pbcoreDescriptionDocument level to describe the intellectual content of individual segments of an asset.
  • pbcoreExtension optional. The pbcoreExtension element can be used as either a wrapper containing a specific element from another standard OR embedded xml containing the extension.


Submit any issues or suggested changes for future schema iterations by creating a ticket in our Github repository.