New resource for librarians provides a comprehensive foundation in building a metadata strategy for digital libraries


Facet Publishing announce the publication of Metadata in the Digital Library by Richard Gartner

Producing metadata can be a prolonged and expensive process, and the range of metadata needed to run a digital library and preserve its collections in the long term is much more extensive and complicated than anything in its traditional counterpart. However, metadata remains an essential foundation to managing and maintaining both analogue and digital library collections. 

Metadata in the Digital Library is a complete guide to building a digital library metadata strategy from scratch, using established metadata standards bound together by the markup language XML.

The book lays out the basic principles that should underlie any metadata strategy, including its relation to such fundamentals as the digital curation lifecycle, and demonstrates how they should be implemented. It introduces the XML language and the key standards for each type of metadata, including Dublin Core and MODS for descriptive metadata and PREMIS for its administrative and preservation counterpart, as well as outlining the integration process using packaging standard METS. Two case studies from the Warburg Institute in London, where Richard Gartner is Digital Librarian, demonstrate how the strategy can be implemented in a working environment.

Kristen Schuster, a lecturer in Digital Curation at KCL, said, ‘This book is a fantastic blend of technical detail, disciplinary expertise and introductory information. A general description and discussion about metadata contextualises more detailed analyses of good practice guidelines for creating interoperable metadata I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and plan on adding it to my modules’ core reading lists.’ 

The strategy laid out in this book will ensure that a digital library’s metadata will support all of its operations, be fully interoperable with others and enable its long-term preservation. It assumes no prior knowledge of metadata, XML or any of the standards that it covers. It provides both an introduction to best practices in digital library metadata and a manual for their practical implementation, as well as being a great explanatory guide for students.

Metadata in the Digital Library: Building an Integrated Strategy with XML | Paperback: 9781783304844 | 200pp | £50 | 30 September 2021 |

Richard Gartner is a librarian and academic whose primary area of research is the theory and practice of metadata. He is currently the Digital Librarian at the Warburg Institute in the University of London where he established and is responsible for the Institute’s digital library. He previously worked at the Bodleian Library, Oxford where he instigated the Library’s first digitisation programmes and devised the metadata strategy for the Oxford Digital Library. More recently he was a lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, where he taught and researched metadata theory and practice and digital curation.



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The book is published by Facet Publishing and is available to order from Ingram Publisher Services UK | Tel: +44 (0)1572 202301| Fax: +44 (0)1752 202333 | Email: sends e-mail) | Web: | Mailing Address: Ingram Publisher Services UK, 10 Thornbury Road, Plymouth, PL6 7PP |  It will be available in North America from the American Library Association.