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The University of North Texas Libraries (UNTL) have created a robust application framework for integrating diverse, complex and dynamic digital information resources from a multitude of sources. One UNTL digital libraries initiative, the Portal to Texas History is a State-wide collaborative digital project, which provides a metadata framework that fosters a collaborative environment for participating institutions. Among other, innovative services, the Portal is implementing a hybrid system that uses both controlled terms and free keywords in order to describe all possible resources adequately. This paper examines the benefits and challenges of combining uncontrolled and controlled vocabularies into cultural heritage digital collections. In particular, based on the University of North Texas Librariesí real-life implementations experience, this paper discusses various scenarios and strategies for integrating controlled vocabularies in the uncontrolled digital libraries world.
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