Strategy for use of preservation metadata within a digital library

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Technical Report
Nir Sherwinter, Richard Wright
Not Applicable
Metadata, Preservation metadata

This technical report is a product of the PrestoPRIME Project (D2.2.3.), the major project on digital preservation in the audiovisual sector in Europe.

The last decade has seen the audiovisual world recognise the importance of metadata, with significant standardisation (SMPTE, EBU, ITU, AES) and implementation work (asset management systems). We now recognise that in a file-based world where content is no longer on shelves, metadata is our only mechanism for actually keeping – or finding – anything. So, how do we keep metadata – and how do we use metadata to keep content? This document reviews the standards and definitions for preservation metadata , reviews leading digital preservation repository implementations and studies on formal digital preservation of audiovisual content and studies, implementations, projects and prototypes for digital preservation of audiovisual content. Finally, we set out the use of preservation metadata – and the preservation of metadata– in the work of the PrestoPRIME project.
We find three related concepts:

1. metadata about preservation – the PREMIS framework for describing what is allowed to happen to objects in a controlled environment: a trusted digital repository;
2. preservation of metadata – the procedure used in a trusted repository for ensuring that not only is content preserved, but also metadata is preserved;
3. use of metadata within a trusted repository – these repositories need to ‘understand’ their content, at least along certain dimensions, and that understanding is held in metadata.