Process history metadata for time-based media artworks at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Peggy Griesinger, Metadata and Cataloguing Librarian, George Mason University Libraries


Abstract: The Museum of Modern Art in New York City (MoMA) is a world-renowned museum with a large collection of time-based media artworks. Media conservators in MoMA’s conservation department noticed a gap in their documentation for time-based media artworks: there was no standardised way of recording the digitisation or format migration history of an artwork, known as its process history. Conservators require such information to store and exhibit an artwork in a way that matches the artist’s original vision. The National Digital Stewardship Resident at MoMA was tasked with creating a standardised metadata profile that could record and store this information. The resulting profile uses the PREMIS, PBCore, reVTMD and METS schemas to record technical metadata about every tool used to digitise or migrate an artwork from one format to another. This metadata profile ensures that the artistic and bit-level authenticity of timebased media artworks can be maintained and understood now and in the future.


KEYWORDS: metadata, digital preservation, time-based media, art conservation


Peggy Griesinger is the Metadata and Cataloguing Librarian at George Mason University Libraries. She is responsible for the copy and original cataloguing of audiovisual materials and consults throughout the library on metadata projects. Prior to this, she was the National Digital Stewardship Resident at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


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