Planning Kit for a Quality Site for Small and Medium Sized Museums

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This concerns information relative to complete text documents. The information is generally structured and subdivided into fields, allowing more efficient administration and retrieval.

Metadata are useful for:

  • ascertaining the existence of a document with determined characteristics,
  • selecting a certain type of document,
  • locating a specific document,
  • obtaining information on the use of the document located,
  • allowing research across different disciplinary and linguistic fields by using equal descriptors.

From the practical point of view, metadata can be of two types:

  • semantic descriptor metadata serve to identify and retrieve primary documents. These are descriptors of semantic content,
  • administrative metadata are necessary for management of the structure. These descriptors refer to the procedures of filing and administrating the documents.

Administrative Metadata can be further divided into :

  • technical metadata
  • metadata for conservation
  • metadata for use

In order to facilitate the search for a document and optimise internal and external interoperability, the Web page must be described with a sufficient number of standardised metadata.

Metadata relating to digital documents can be supplied by:

  • the primary document itself through auto cataloguing used by authors, editors or specifically created work groups. These identify a set of metadata according to the traceability and identification of the museum and its activity;
  • the work of professional indexers;
  • automatic software that associates metadata to the document.

There are a number of metada schemes to use for reference:

  • The Dublin Core is a series of 15 semantic descriptors (title; author or creator; subject; class or key word; abstract; index or other types of content descriptors; date; type of resource; format of the data - URL, ISBN, DOI or other identifier; source; language; relationship to other documents; spatial or temporal coverage; information on copyright). These descriptors were worked out by an international association to allow for a minimal description of any type of digital resource;
  • Administrative metadata of the ICCU were worked out by a special study group to standardise the metadata necessary for administration of digital document in the project Biblioteca Digitale Italiana (Italian Digital Libraries)
  • DOI (digital object identifier) was created by an editorial team and is a type of ISBN supplied on payment by international agencies.

Useful links

The MetaMap is a pedagogical graphic which takes the form of a subway map. Its aim is to help the information science community to understand metadata standards, sets, and initiatives of interest in this area.


© Minerva Project 2005-03, last revision 2007-07-10, edited by WP5, Committee for the development of a prototype of public cultural websites.
URL: www.minervaeurope/structure/workinggroups/userneeds/prototipo/progproto/interoperabilita/metadati_e.html