pbcoreGenre is an element that 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.

Best practice: Genre refers to the intellectual content of the asset, whereas the element Asset Type defines a broader structural category; i.e. an asset might have the Asset Type of Segment, with a Genre of News, together defining a news segment.

pbcoreInstantiation can be contained within the elements pbcoreDescriptionDocument or pbcorePart.

Usage: optional, repeatable.


  • sourcerequired only for the elements pbcoreIdentifier and instantiationIdentifier; for all other elements, optional. Attribute source provides the name of the authority used to declare the value of the element.Different elements will use the source attribute slightly differently. For example, identifier source (required) should be the name of the organization, institution, system or namespace that the identifier came from, such as “PBS NOLA Code” or an institutional database identifier. For other elements, this might be the name of a controlled vocabulary, namespace or authority list, such as Library of Congress Subject Headings. We recommend a consistent and human readable use.
  • refoptional. Use attribute ref to supply a source’s URI for the value of the element. Attribute ref can be used to point to a term in a controlled vocabulary, or a URI associated with a source.
  • versionoptional. Attribute version identifies any version information about the authority or convention used to express data of this element.
  • annotationoptional. Attribute annotation includes narrative information intended to clarify the nature of data used in the element. Can be used as a notes field to include any additional information about the element or associated attributes.
  • startTimeoptional. Attribute startTime combines with the endTime attribute to define a specific media segment within a broader timeline of an asset and/or instantiation. This is a free text attribute and can be applied at the asset or instantiation level. When used at the asset level, it may be used to talk generally about the start/end time of a segment (e.g. “30 minutes”), or by providing a timestamp to a specific point in an instantiation. If you’re doing that for element at the asset level, we suggest referencing the instantiation ID you are referring to in timeAnnotation. One example would be if a six-hour long tape was broken into multiple programs, and each instantiation might have its start time labeled as when the instantiation began in the timeline of the broader tape. Another example for this usage might be a digital file created from a VHS tape that contains multiple segments. In the digital copy, color bars are removed from the beginning, and black from the end of the digital instantiation. Time references referring to the segments on the physical VHS are no longer relevant; therefore it’s important to tie start and end time references to a specific instantiation, e.g. use the asset ID and timestamp.
  • endTimeoptional. Attribute endTime combines with a similar value in the startTime attribute to define a specific media segment within a broader timeline of an asset and/or instantiation.
  • timeAnnotationoptional. Attribute timeAnnotation includes narrative information intended to clarify information about the value of the startTime and endTime attributes.


pbcoreGenre contains no subelements.

Controlled Vocabularies

PBCore pbcoreGenre (recommended)
Library of Congress Moving Image Genre-Form Guide
IPTC NewsCodes genres
Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM)


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