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This paper explores the origins of the 1:1 Principle within Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). It finds that the need for the 1:1 Principle emerged from prior work among cultural heritage professionals responsible for describing reproductions and surrogate resources using traditional cataloging methods. As the solutions to these problems encountered new ways to model semantic data that emerged outside of libraries, archives, and museums, tensions arose within DCMI community. This paper aims to fill the gaps in our understanding of the 1:1 Principle by outlining the conceptual foundations that led to its inclusion in DCMI documentation, how the Principle has been (mis)understood in practice, how violations of the Principle have been operationalized, and how the fundamental issues raised by the Principle continue to challenge us today. This discussion situates the 1:1 Principle within larger discussions about cataloging practice and emerging Linked Data approaches.