This paper explains why and how the digitization project METAe applies METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) as encoding scheme for automatically extracted metadata. In contrast to TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) and other markup languages, METS allows encoding of the whole range of structural, descriptive, and administrative metadata in a systematic way. As the METS schema permits the integration of other existing standards, it provides a highly flexible output that can be converted easily to the individual needs of digital libraries. An innovative aspect of the METAe data structure is the ALTO file (‘Analysed layout and text object’), which contains the layout structures as well as the text passages of book pages. Structural maps of the METS schema are used to compose the logical and the physical structures out of ALTO and image files.

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