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In this electronic age where digital information is being created at a fantastic rate, tools are necessary to locate, access, manage, and understand it all—and that's where metadata comes in. A common definition of the term is "data about data." Metadata can serve many functions in data administration, including detailing the data's history, conditions for use, format, and management requirements. The Minnesota State Archives' interest in metadata stems from its mandate to identify, collect, preserve, and make available the historically valuable records of government regardless of format.


The Minnesota State Archives offers a number of pages related to metadata:

Metadata Guidelines
View the Metadata Chapter of the State Archives' Electronic Records Management Guidelines. Introduce yourself to metadata, its functions, and its importance in managing electronic records. Become familiar with specific metadata standards.

Metadata Resources
An annotated list of links to other metadata-related sites.

Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard (IRM 20)
The purpose of the standard is to facilitate records management by government entities by providing a standard set of metadata elements that address, among other things, access restrictions and records retention and disposition.

Metadata Studies and Reports
Since 1999, the State Archives has been working with consultants, and its partners in government to learn more about metadata and its application to government electronic records.

Powered by Metadata

metadata logo

Learn about the Powered by Metadata symbol and metadata standards used by Minnesota government.



For further information, contact:
Shawn Rounds
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd. West, Level A
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906

Telephone: 651-259-3265
Fax: 651-296-9961


March 18, 2003; links verified 2/2010