Metadata Diversity in the Cultural Heritage Repositories

Metadata Diversity in the Cultural Heritage Repositories

Sumeer Gul (University of Kashmir, India), Shahkar Riyaz Tramboo (University of Kashmir, India) and Humma Ahangar (University of Kashmir, India)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch178
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Metadata is a term that only entered archival glossaries in the 1990s to refer to all or any of the various traces and statements (or ‘data about data’) that are made by or about records and recordkeeping structures, processes and contexts, especially in digital recordkeeping, online description, and digitization (Gilliland, 2011).

Metadata is increasingly recognized as key infrastructural component and knowledge management tool that encompasses far more than the descriptive information that is created by archivists or other information and heritage professionals (Gilliland, 2011). With the rapid growth of Internet, research on digital libraries and digital museums dealing with heritage collections has received worldwide attention (Bekaert, Ville, Rogge, Strauven, Kooning, & Walle, 2002; Chen, Chen, Chen, & Hsiang, 2002). Digital information is now an integral part of our culture and heritage. Cultural heritage encompasses all contemporary demonstrations, when intangible, and past evidences, in the case of tangible artefacts, of human creative activity that are inherited from previous generations and considered by communities, groups or society at large to be of value, and therefore maintained in the present and transmitted to future generations for their benefit (Roders & Oers, 2011). Tangible cultural heritage includes monuments, groups of buildings, sites and cultural landscapes (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 1972), while intangible cultural heritage includes the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills of communities and groups, and sometimes individuals, as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith (UNESCO, 2003). Cultural institutions at the local, regional, national and international levels now actively digitise the cultural and heritage resources in order to stabilise and protect those resources so that they will be permanent and durable besides being retrievable, readable and usable overtime. Making resources available is important, but ensuring accuracy in resource discovery is vital for future reference (Manaf, 2006) and resource discovery with the aid of metadata has resolved this problem to a greater extent including the ones related to culture and heritage artefacts.

Different types of metadata schemes represent heterogeneous digital assets. Digital objects showcasing culture and heritage objects that are currently receiving an important place in the society are described by some specific surrogates which are somewhat different from the general types of digital objects. Various types of schemas evolved from time to time to describe the digital artefacts representing the culture and heritage in one form or the other which Baca (2003) justifies by saying that, there is no “one-size-fits-all” metadata scheme.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Metadata: It is the data about digital data.

Digital Library: It is an information retrieval tool which stores collections in digital formats.

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