Aldis, digital asset management


Aldis Book Club

A curated selection of great books, hand-picked by our master librarians. Click the titles in the description to view the book on Amazon.

Metadata Matters

John Horodyski

Auerbach Publications (2022)


Respected DAM consultant and regular speaker with Henry Stewart Events John Horodyski recently published this primer on metadata, and it might be one of the easiest to engage with on the market.  It’s written in a wonderfully conversational way yet it makes even some of the more complex topics a breeze to understand. Going beyond the basics, the author also delves into how types of metadata intersect with the user experience, the realistic capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning services, and building a metadata strategy for maintaining and growing your system in the long run. The cherry on top?  Besides being an informative book, the witty tone and bevy of anecdotes taken from his own life (like being reconnected with a misplaced suitcase by way of the metadata on his luggage tag, for instance) make this a legitimately fun read.


Helen Lippell, editor

Facet Publishing (2022)


Taxonomies is a practical and professional primer to the task of taxonomy development. It is a collection of chapters authored by a range of professionals from the industry, each bringing key insights from their own experiences and projects, as well as a range of voices to the overall book. Designed for anyone who has chosen to be (or is tasked with being) 'a list maker' for their company, this book is free from the dryness of textbooks and is quite easy to read, providing a wealth of information for metadata beginners and adepts alike on their DAM system journey.


Jeffrey Pomerantz

MIT Press (2015)


A true pocket-sized resource, this book can be a useful primer on all the metadata basics if you’re new to working with the concept. With this accessibly written text, you’ll still gain a workable understanding of three main categories of metadata (descriptive, administrative, and use/rights). Following the basics, the author then delves into some interesting examples of how metadata fields can be functional between systems with a peek at the RDF and DCMI Abstract data models, the Semantic Web, and the future of metadata.

Digital and Marketing Asset Management

Theresa Regli

Digital Reality Checks (2016)


Written by DAM rockstar and regular speaker at Henry Stewart Events, Theresa Regli, this book is THE primer for Digital Asset Management best practices. Whether you’re new to DAM, an occasional user, or a day-to-day champion of your organization’s DAM system, there’s at least one chapter in this book for you. Besides covering the basics of what DAM is, the author also covers the business case aspect, comparing DAM technologies, and strategic considerations when choosing your platforms and deploying/renovating your DAM systems. It might feel like a slightly denser read than others on this list, but the amount of information to be mined is worth your time and effort.

The Accidental Taxonomist

Heather Hedden

Information Today, inc. (2016)


Did you get hired to manage a DAM program without a library, archives, or metadata background? Do you feel stuck trying to build quality metadata and controlled vocabularies? This book was written exactly for people like you. The author starts off with a solid primer on the topics, then dives deeper into the school of taxonomy than other books on this list, covering subjects like human vs machine taxonomies, displays for taxonomies, and what it’s like working as a taxonomist. Not tired of the “T” word yet? Then consider this book something for your reading list.

Metadata for Digital Collections

Steven Jack Miller

ALA Neal-Schurman (2022)


This isn’t a metadata book for the faint of heart because it’s an outright textbook on the subject—as used in Master of Library and Information Sciences programs. The layout is wonderfully technical (if that’s your jam), but the text itself is very easy to understand, with tons of tables and snippets of XML as examples. It's geared for those planning on working in a more traditional library environment, but there’s still a lot that can be put to work in other types of organizations: the basics of describing a resource/asset/file, the Dublin Core framework, controlled vocabularies and the relationships between, and XML-encoded metadata. If you didn’t go to school for DAM work but suddenly have a metadata-central role, this is a deep-dive book, but well worth making it through.

Metadata for Content Management

David Diamond

CreateSpace Independent Publishing (2016)


If you’re new to working with taxonomies but need a functional primer, this would be a great book to start with.  In its modest 180 pages, the author does an excellent job of defining the practice of taxonomy (organizing terms), provides a range of examples, and walks through both creating controlled vocabularies from scratch, editing existing ones for local needs, thinking through synonyms and localization challenges, and the workflow of eventually tagging content. While the topic is more niche than others on this book list, it’s still easy to pick up without an existing understanding of taxonomy and metadata.

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