„Metadata” is a concept that is not only reserved for digital sources and data, but that applies for every source. As the word „meta”, meaning „after” or „beyond” describes, the „metadata” of a source is all the information that goes beyond the sources itself, meaning that it provides more information about the source than the source itself. For non-digtal sources, „metadata” is traditionally called contextual information. This information can be for example about the author(s) of the source, where and when it was created, or on what support it was created. The „metadata” of a source is not absolutely necessary for historical research, but the more „metadata” an historian has about his/her sources, the more precise his/her analysis can be. „Metadata” is furthermore an essential key  for „respect des fonds” and  „respect de l’ordre” of digital archives, as it allows a better classification of data.

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