Book Review: Metadata for Digital Collections, Second Edition

Lynn E. Gates


The ability to create digital collections has become more accessible to libraries and cultural heritage institutions of all sizes over the last few years, making it a good time to release the second edition of Steven Jack Miller’s Metadata for Digital Collections. Miller is successful in his goal to write a textbook that is “accessible to beginners and library and information studies students as well as experienced professionals with little formal metadata training” (xxl). Throughout the book he introduces fundamental concepts that everyone developing a digital collection will need in order to be successful. Complex concepts—such as interoperability, linked data, and controlled vocabulary—are introduced early in the book in a manner that is appropriate for someone who is unfamiliar with the topics. Later chapters examine each of these topics in-depth providing a solid grounding and understanding of these concepts. In addition to writing plainly, Miller includes many examples that clearly illustrate the concepts being introduced. He also created a number of useful sidebars; I particularly found the “Typology of Metadata Standards” (15) and “Five Ways to Improve Metadata Quality and Interoperability: Summary Overview” (316) sidebars helpful in how they summarize the information in their respective sections which will make it easy for me to reference in the future.

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