Use case 5: Preservation metadata

A well-known case where the item base carrier is important for preservation or digitisation prioritisation is nitrate film stock, which is highly flammable and extremely fragile, requiring transfer of the content to a more stable polymer base or digital medium. The Framework can allow identification of the extent and location of items requiring priority treatment from multiple heterogeneous metadata records through mapping of schemas to the carrier ontology. It is unlikely that a common way of describing the characteristics of carriers will be developed, even within emerging preservation metadata schemas for digital content (which can be carried on non-digital media such as CD and DVD). For example, the PREMIS data dictionary for preservation metadata. Version 2.0 does "… not attempt to define metadata for detailed documentation of media or hardware." Specific types of carrier may require highly-specialised (and often expensive) equipment to digitise their content. More generally "The method of digitisation is dictated by the nature of the material selected" (Freeze frame: historic polar images). The Framework carrier ontology is therefore likely to become a very useful tool for digitisation programmes funded by JISC and partners such as the Strategic Content Alliance.