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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Metadata: Original metadata
Related Guidance Policy
Definition/ Description The term “original metadata” means metadata that is with the digital object at the time it is received by the repository and can consist of different kinds of metadata. This original metadata should be preserved along with the digital object to ensure provenance and authenticity. The organization should have a policy describing how they intend to collect (e.g. by agreement with the depositor or producer) and manage these original metadata.
It could be beneficial to develop a policy with regard to agreements with the depositor about which metadata would be preferable and expected, e.g. technical metadata about hardware and software used in the process of creating the digital objects. 
The repository should safeguard all relevant metadata in the submission package, where “relevant” implies metadata that can only be created by the producer and cannot be derived from the digital object itself.
Why Original metadata can add to the provenance and authenticity of the digital object. Often this kind of metadata contains information that cannot be retrieved authentically from other sources.
Risks Not keeping the original metadata or unrecorded manipulation might lead to loss of authenticity and provenance.
Life cycle stage Description and Representation Information, Preservation Planning, Create or receive, Ingest
Stakeholder Depositor: delivers metadata
Consumer: needs to be able to access and trust the metadata in order to understand the digital material
Cross Reference Authenticity
Examples State Library of Queensland: “As some digital preservation activities may result in changes to the digital material all digital preservation processes will be documented in the provenance metadata to ensure the authenticity of the digital records.” Source:, []
State and University Library, Denmark: “When an analogue collection is digitised, data generated in connection with the digitisation process is added to the metadata of the collection.” Source:
Control Policy
  • Information about object creation MUST be kept
  • Ingest event information MUST be recorded
  • Information on ingest event MUST include date undertaken,
Questions to foster discussions
  • How does your organisation manage metadata that is received along with the digital object?
  • Has your organisation defined a policy to support the process of selecting “relevant original metadata “at ingest?
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