We are in the process of designing new workflows for preservation and
access of our digital stuff, and I'd like to get a sense of how people
understand digital objects in the preservation space.
My gut tells me that it might be useful for future digital
archivists/archaeologists to have an object's descriptive metadata closely
associated with the object's files in the same directory in a human
readable plain text format. So that one directory would contain all of the
object's files and descriptive metadata in an easy to read package.
Alternatively, descriptive metadata for many objects could be stored in a
single external file, say at the root of a preservation accession
directory, according to a recognized standard like METS. That requires more
work to reconstruct an object, and the linkage between an object's files
and descriptive metadata is looser, but it seems more efficient.
How do others approach this problem? Are there recognized best practices to