Foster, Allen and Rafferty, Pauline (Eds.). Managing digital cultural objects: analysis, discovery and retrieval.. London: Facet Publishing, 2016. xx, 227 p. ISBN 978-1-85604-941-2. £54.95

This book is looking at digital non-textual cultural objects and a variety of challenges that working with them creates for information professionals. There are significant overlaps with the challenges presented by texts, but the authors seek to highlight another category of digital objects and highlight its specific features. The book mainly considers the issues related to organization and representation of these objects, access to them in a variety of ways and possibilities of re-use.

The first part with three chapters looks into some theoretical aspects underlying the whole management of digital objects. Thus in the first chapter Pauline Raferty presents an overview of main knowledge representation theories and new modes and approaches to indexing that have emerged lately together with the need of collecting and interpreting cultural objects on the web for the users. The second chapter by Sarah Higgins delves into the models and standards used mainly in preservation environments that are crucial for the future use of cultural heritage. She presents models for digital archives and libraries, metadata standards and relevant issues of semantic web. The third chapter by Katrin Weller present the importance and challenges presented by preservation of the social media contents for further exploitation and exploration.

The second part presents two major projects run by two national libraries in Great Britain (Welsh National Library and the British Library). The most interesting project based on the preservation of a variety of data related to Kyffin Williams, an eminent Welsh artist, shows the potential that a properly preserved data opens for research into cultural history. The value of preserved digital materials and data is also the underlying the chapter on preservation of British Library digital collections, though this part presents a more managerial approach to the preservation of basically digital texts in e-books and e-journals. The third chapter in this part outlines the requirements for digitization of audio content and its preservation and concentrates on more general practical issues in this field.

The final part is probably most attractive to young readers and researchers who are identified as the main audience in the Introduction to the whole book. I found all of them quite fascinating, as they deal with photos, music recordings and films. The most exhaustive is the first chapter by Corrine Jörgensen that deals with tagging and retrieving photographs from social media sites. The other one by Nicola Orio looks into tracking of musical affinities, which provides possibilities to classify and search for shared musical content in different audio sources. The third by La Barre and de Novais Cordeiro present issues of film retrieval on the web in specific retrieval environments.

In general the content of the book meets well the expectations raised in the title and addresses all three parts: analysis, discovery and retrieval of digital cultural objects. It will definitely provide inspiration to those students who are looking for novel research and project topics.

Elena Maceviciute
Swedish School of Library and Information Science
University of Borås
September, 2016