It is an illusion to think that software will always offer access to the archived data.
Computer software is an active component in the archive and it knows only two possible states:
It works and is maintained .
It does not work and is not maintained .
B est Practice # 4: Do not trust software (cont.)
Case 2: Software does not work, is not maintained:
Documentation metadata has to contain the source code of the original software.
Emulation has to be foreseen; metadata has to contain all the emulation parameters .
Case 1: Software works, is maintained:
The archive has the software.
The user has the software.
Both cases have a dynamic metadata layer with all the software aspects needed to access the data.
Are descriptive metadata (or other access tools like thumbnails, previews) data or metadata ?
Non-discussion: ‘metadata’ is a relative term.
Advantage : descriptive metadata are ‘core business’, too valuable not to be archived.
Disadvantage : this type data is very dynamic.
as Metadata :
Advantage : metadata are dynamic; can be adapted to the needs of the archive.
Disadvantage : which descriptive model have to be used: MARC, EAD, P/META,…?
B est Practice # 5: Store descriptive metadata as data Provide a broadly accepted descriptive model like Dublin Core
Dublin Core describes the ‘Who’, ‘What’,’Where’, ‘When’ and ‘How’.
Sector specific descriptive metadata models have finer granularity.
Use international standards (MARC, EAD, P/Meta).
Want to know more? Book (in dutch): “ (Meta)datastandaarden voor digitale archieven full-text available book “, Bastijns, Paul; Coppens, Sam; Corneillie, Siska; Hochstenbach, Patrick et al. , ( 2009 ); http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-480734 Deliverable Layered metadata model: http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-764194