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Help & guidance Guides to Good Practice

Structuring your archive

Kieron Niven, Archaeology Data Service / Digital Antiquity, Guides to Good Practice

Images should be structured logically and in a matter which suits the particular project. A file structure may reflect a specific site or feature or separate instances of fieldwork or photographic survey.

Where embedded metadata is to be preserved, it is suggested that it be extracted and stored in a simple text or XML structure, with a text file of metadata per image. #image_filename#.meta has been suggested as a standard naming scheme, with these files stored in a “documentation” folder alongside the preserved images. Other embedded metadata, such as IPTC or XMP, might also be extracted into this structure. Alternatively, where few elements are used or deemed significant, such data may be easily stored in a spreadsheet or database.