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Storage, and subsequent retrieval of thousands of
images, sounds and films, requests an orderly data
management system. For this, metadata are vital.The
merger of the four organisations posed problems for
the exchange of information. Systems were obsolete,
incompatible and have to be standardised.To accom-
plish this, metadata standards are being introduced to
the cataloguing systems.
Metadata could be defined as `data about data'.
They describe sources of information and classify
them.The type of metadata used, depends on the
domain it describes and its purpose, such as identifi-
cation or retrieval of data. Ideas about the grasp of
metadata differ from purely data on content to
description of the entire process of creation, organi-
sation and software architecture
Exchange of digital information requires the use
of standards to allow interoperability of systems and
data contained in them. In the first place, standardisa-
tion within an organisation is essential. Secondly, as
globalisation continues, metadata have to be standard-
ized on a national and even international level to
guarantee permanent sustainability. Organisations,
who develop standards for AV-metadata, come from
the world of broadcasters, AV-producers and archi-
vists.Their operations can vary from a local level
within specific fields, to all-including and global
standardisation of metadata.
Recent developments regarding standards are:
Development of metadata taxonomy to facilitate
communication about metadata.
Development of ontologies, linked to metadata
features and description of data-elements like
fieldnames, types, classification and semantics.
Defining a central structure of registration
in order to facilitate the mapping between
different metadata schemas.
Defining a set of tools with generic functionalities
to develop and exploit metadata.
Vision, as the metadata, which is added by the
broadcasters (creators), is increasingly tuned to the
metadata standards designed by Sound and Vision.
Although the creator has no direct advantage in using
the same metadata standards, in the long run this
cooperation facilitates reuse of the material,
preserving its authenticity at the same time.Working
with the same metadata standards, the character of
the metadata differs.The creator should generate
metadata, which has to identify the record, whereas
the preserver needs to add its own metadata that
describes the processes of migration and dissemi-
nation of the record.
The concepts of authenticity and integrity of data
in relation to AV materials are not very strictly defined.
The original data are kept in their raw form as much
as possible. However, it is a matter of fact that the
materials are often edited.The news, for instance,
might be recorded including the footage of a TV
comment or also including those items not broadcast
at all. Integrity is something that was tampered with
in the past. Being a corporate archive, when materials
were used, they would be often returned (or not at
all) in its edited version. Nowadays, the original is
always kept in store, while viewing or lending copies
are made available.
The following example indicates how Sound and
Vision tries to preserve authenticity of its non-digital
collection.When the program `Big Brother' appeared
on Dutch television, the public opinion was divided
about its consequences. Psychologists and sociologists
condemned the program, pointing at potential dangers
for both viewers and participants, while the general
public embraced this new way of making television.
Millions of people would watch the show every day
and the ones that did not, found it increasingly
difficult to strike up a conversation with one of the
viewers.This controversial program began to look at
the relationship between privacy and television in a
new way. For this contribution to the cultural heritage
alone it was worth preserving the concepts, pro-
grammes and related material.The project leader of
Sound and Vision's museum, exploring the possi-
bilities of an exhibition dedicated to Big Brother,
came up with the idea of showcasing one of the
camera's that was actually used in the program. In his
attempts to find the authentic cameras, he experienced
some difficulties in explaining the concept of authen-
ticity to the employees of the technical service,
which exploits the equipment.They did not under-
stand why this one specific camera, out of hundreds
of identical cameras, had to be identified and displayed
in a museum.
DigiCULT 25
ntegrity and authenticity are abstract concepts,
but preserving them is imperative in every stage
of the workflow. Criteria for authenticity are
based on the components of a digital object, the kind
of object (such as text, audio) and the type of usage
such as scholarly use or entertainment. In preserving
a digital object's authenticity, there is a need for two
different sets of requirements, for both creator and
preserver.This has been acknowledged by Sound and
AMICITIA website:
ECHO website:
PRESTO website:
An impressive guide on
metadata and standards is a
publication of Annemieke de
Jong, who works for SOUND
AND VISION. Unfortunately
this is only available in Dutch.
Jong, A. de (2000):
Metadata in de audiovisuele
productieomgeving. Hilversum,
The Netherlands.