Technical Metadata Set: Environmental support of digital objects

a Metadata Subdomain Expert Portfolio

by Maria Esteva

According to the OCLC/RLG Preservation Metadata Working Group, "preservation metadata is intended to support and facilitate the long-term retention of digital information." Among the elements contained on a Preservation Metadata Set, those that allow to record the technical environment in which a digital object can be accessed and preserved over time conform a sub-set called technical metadata.

The technical metadata sub-set describes:

  • the software and hardware environments needed to display or access the current instantiation of the original digital object
  • the technical elements involved in the transformation processes that the instantiations of digital objects go through in order to be accessed, displayed and preserved over time

On the long run, the accumulation of this information covers an important part of the history of a digital record, as it documents the tools and processes that the digital object's instantiation goes through to remain accessible within an ever-changing digital environment.

Important work has been done by repositories and task groups on the subject of preservation metadata. This Sub-domain Expert Portfolio reinterprets that work and presents a technical metadata DTD that can be applied to describe the technical environment of diverse types of digital objects in the context of a repository.

This technical metadata sub-set is part of a Preservation Metadata Set. In turn, the Preservation Metadata Set is part of a General Purpose DTD that allows to manage and maintain digital objects throughout their lifecycle.




This Sub-domain Expert Portfolio was prepared for the class:


Dr. Patricia Galloway



Fall 2002

Preservation Metadata Presentation Narrative Technical Metadata DTD