Primarily, metadata is often thought of as a way to provide a viewer additional context to an object. In fact, it is the ability for an object to be discovered by a viewer for which metadata is indispensable. Digitization is only useful if the end result, a digital collection, can be efficiently used, and metadata is not just an aid to this use, it is the most important means by which that use will be effected.
As the world’s digital collections continue to become increasingly centrally accessible, the total size will be measured with storage prefixes which we are only abstractly aware of, like exabyte, zettabyte, and yottabyte. In such collections there is no ability to search or organize manually – all organizational operations take the form of searches. A PDO without proper metadata in such a collection is like an unlabeled box in an unfathomably massive warehouse. While this guide does not include extensive information about Metadata, it is of unquestioned value to a digitization program.