Application of Preservation Metadata for Long-Term Accessibility of Digital Objects


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Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for journalistikk, bibliotek- og informasjonsvitenskap

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Joint Master Degree in Digital Library Learning (DILL)


In the process of digital preservation metadata management for long-term accessibility of digital objects has been an important discussion point internationally. However, there is a gap in the implementation of preservation metadata standards from theory to practice. Hitherto little research has been conducted to show the application of preservation metadata and therefore new case studies on both implementation and use of metadata standards in preservation strategies is needed. The aim of this thesis is to study the extent of implementing standard preservation metadata in the preservation practice at memory institutions. This study adopts a qualitative method based upon a pragmatic approach and uses the case study strategy. Metadata experts/specialists in three memory institutions (National Library of Estonia, National Archives of Estonia and National Library of Wales) were interviewed using semi-structured interviews, accompanied by document analysis. Results of the study show that these memory institutions are recording a wide range of metadata in all categories: descriptive, structural as well as administrative metadata (including the rights, provenance, and technical metadata). They use metadata elements from a variety of metadata standards/schema to suit their practical purposes. However, the level of exploitation of preservation metadata standards differs in scale, data management practices as well as heterogeneity of metadata recorded. Metadata is recorded about different digital objects like books, WebPages, photographs, audio, video, and their files and bitstreams. The level of implementation of metadata for each object type varies between institutions. The application of the PREMIS metadata standard entities varies from institution to institution as it ranges from reviewing/analyzing stage to practical implementation. Significant differences have also been seen between national libraries and archives in mission, process of ingest, influence of their traditional cataloguing practices and types of standards used for the development of their metadata specification. In managing the metadata on the digital preservation processes different problems and challenges have been faced and investigated by these memory institutions and further research should be carried out to study other aspects of metadata implementation.


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