Metadata are characteristics that are given to a specific document or document type. It concerns unique data that say something about the document concerned and what has happened to that data. Examples are: title, document type, document size, creation date/time, number of pages, resolution, etc. The right metadata enables you to find information efficiently. However, everything depends on the correct registration of these characteristics. If characteristics are not registered or not registered properly, you will not (quickly) find the right document. And it goes even further than that: metadata-controlled archiving. It is often a challenge for organisations, while it is a very powerful way of archiving. Future-proof and convenient.

Archive laws and regulations

Within the government there are several laws and regulations regarding the recording of metadata, especially in the Archive Regulation. The requirements relate to the context in which the documents were created or received. Governmental organisations must establish metadata schedules, in which the structure is included. In these, the minimum metadata are named in order to keep the archive sustainable and accessible. The quality of this data is also important, because the characteristics must also be understandable to others. The use of value lists can be a good guide in this respect.

Metadata in the archive

With the help of metadata, the archive can be and remain permanently accessible. This means that documents are not only easy and fast to find, but also readable. Metadata is always stored together with the document in a (digital) archive. Is the metadata not kept in the same place? For example, because the document is in the archive and the corresponding metadata is stored digitally? Then it is necessary to create a connection between the location of the document and the digital metadata. Here too, it all depends on the correct registration. In this case, the location of the document in the archive must correspond with the registered location in the digital archive. Otherwise, looking up the right document becomes quite a job.

A well organised archive depends on good quality metadata. The drawing up of value lists and the correct arrangement of the metadata fields may be time-consuming at first, but afterwards you can profit from an increased efficiency, accuracy and accessibility.

Do you want to start archiving and do you need help in setting up and determining the right metadata? Archive-IT has years of experience with setting up an efficient archive. We are happy to help you here!

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