Since my last past, I’ve been thinking more about the relationship between metadata and content and digital content in particular. In the last post, I referred to the data architecture model developed by G. Colati and P. L. Carr. Their focus was on digital content acquired by the library that need to be thought of in technological agnostic terms. Is this really possible? Can digital content be divorced from the technology used to create and further curate it? The nature of a particular digital content dictates how this content will be curated, stored, managed, and delivered to users. A PDF differs from a streaming video. Storage, management and delivery differ greatly between these two types of digital content. Of course, curation will also differ. What might not change is how an institution decides to acquire and say whether or not that digital content will be acquired, for how long and discuss the level of care from the library (ephemeral content, preservation content, access content, etc.).
The more I think about digital content, metadata, and data architecture the more I’m inclined to suggest that the initial framework collapsed different ideas together. Now I’m not too sure on these ideas as yet. But to collapse acquisition with curation, storage, management, and delivery perhaps doesn’t make sense. By this, I go back to the idea that the initial framework on how to curate an acquired digital content cannot be wrapped into or be on the same level as storage, management, and delivery of that content. The image in my last blog post had the overlapping circles from the data architecture model. My thinking now sees this more as in a life cycle approach. The reason for a lifecycle is that both digital content and metadata have lifecycles. The manner in which content is acquired also has a lifecycle. Whether we view this as withdrawing material that is for short term retention or corrupted, or reviewing content for appropriateness every 5 or so years, it is necessary to think about the life of that digital content and its metadata. What does this look like? I’m reminded of research data life cycles. This would be similar here. Let’s continue to explore this in the next post.