The other chapters in this volume demonstrate the wide range of roles that metadata can serve. Since the mid-1990s, however, there has been a growing awareness of the part that metadata can play in supporting the long-term preservation of digital objects (e.g., Day, 2001). Preservation is integral to some definitions of metadata. For example, Cunningham (2000, 9) defines it as “structured information that describes and/or allows us to find, manage, control, understand or preserve other information over time.” This chapter will introduce some proposed digital preservation strategies, noting how metadata comprises a key component of them all. This will be followed by short introductions to the influential Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model and a number of other selected initiatives, based on projects originating from national and research libraries, digitization projects and the archives community. The final sections will highlight some issues and look at what needs to be done in the future. [Preservation metadata [IYLIM 2003-2003]]
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