If a photograph was taken in 1968, and digitised in 2005, and uploaded into a repository in 2007, is it appropriate to export all three of these dates in the unqualified dc:date field? [Originally asked by Gordon on December 24, 2008, on www.digitalnz.org]
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Good question! We consulted with a fellow National Library staff member, who is also a member of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative’s Advisory Board. His opinion was as follows: "You should include just the creation date – unless you (or Digital New Zealand) has good reasons for other dates to appear or Digital New Zealand can segregate multiple date types." (which we currently can't). The reasoning behind this opinion relates to the purpose of Dublin Core metadata (to facilitate discovery of electronic resources), and a need to prioritise information that is most ‘useful’ for resource discovery. "To me, the most useful date is 1968 – general users searching for it are less likely to be interested in when it was digitised or made available online." There is a long answer too, which relates to the ‘one-to-one’ principle of applying Dublin Core metadata, and a philosophy of ‘thinking like a user’.
Helpful info thanks Virgina
What about a digitized photograph of another creative object such as a building or sculpture? Sometimes it is difficult to imagine what the viewer is most interested in - are they looking at the architect's work or the architectural photographers?