Rights Metadata in a Community Archive: Implementing Standardized Rights Statements

Krystyna K. Matusiak, University of Denver
Sarah Werling, University of Colorado Boulder
Lisa Donovan, Regis University
Sam Carlson, University of Denver


Rights metadata in digital collections play an important role in indicating the copyright status of digitized objects and providing users with information in terms of reuse. Describing the copyright of archival materials can be complicated because of limited information about authorship and date of creation. The process of assessing copyright and selecting rights statements is particularly challenging in community archives, often organized by volunteers. This paper presents a case of evaluating copyright and implementing standardized rights statements in the Park County Local History Archive, a community archive in Colorado. The archival collections include a mix of historical materials and recent digital donations. The rights statements from RightsStatements.org were assigned to each digitized object in the digital archive. An assessment study reviewing the accuracy of the assigned statements was conducted. The analysis revealed some inaccuracies and provided an opportunity to revise the rights metadata.