Because good research needs good data

Preservation Metadata

Priscilla Caplan, Digital Library Services, Florida Center for Library Automation

Published: July 2006

Preservation metadata is information that supports and documents the process of digital preservation. The term is usually reserved for metadata that specifically supports the functions of maintaining the fixity, viability, renderability, understandability, and/or authenticity of digital materials in a preservation context.

As such, preservation metadata includes elements of administrative metadata, structural metadata, and technical metadata (the subset of administrative metadata that documents detailed format characteristics of files).

This instalment explores some of the issues involved in recording and managing preservation metadata over time, provides a summary of current activity, and examines some of the key issues relating to preservation metadata including provenance, file format specification and packaging.

Download the Preservation Metadata chapter (pdf)

Key Points

  • Provenance
  • Fixity
  • Significant properties
  • Technical specifications
  • Current activity