Digitization of plate metadata

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Digital image data alone cannot be of much scientific use. Thus, all observational data available in any form has to be digitized as metadata, too. It will have different contents, depending primarily on the object and method of observation. Similarly, there can be different sources of metadata - observational books, plate indices, plate envelopes, hand-written notes on plates themselves, etc. - and all of them should be taken into account with high precision and accuracy in order to fill the gaps and to eliminate errors. Also, different levels of detailing in metadata can occur due to scarcity of sources, lack of man-power to compile metadata or for any other particular reason. Finally, the structure of metadata must match the requirements of software which will handle it later on. By these reasons different approaches to digitize plate metadata are possible. Nevertheless, there are attempts to create general standards. Below are descriptions of some metadata structures and their contents: