Dublin Core to most in the library field brings to mind an exceedingly basic set of metadata elements useful in specific cases but rarely as a model for natively-stored robust metadata. Yet the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is today a very different organization than the one that was informally formed at the OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop in March 1995 from which the original Dublin Core Metadata Element Set emerged. A primary focus of the DCMI is currently the DCMI Abstract Model - an "information model" that is intended to promote "a better understanding of the kinds of descriptions that we are encoding and facilitates the development of better mappings and cross-syntax translations." The DCMI Abstract Model is seen by the DCMI as a primary means of ensuring metadata interoperability. This presentation will introduce the basic tenets of the DCMI Abstract Model, discuss the circumstances that have led to and drive its development, and look critically at the benefits and challenges the model provides as an information model that can potentially underlie any metadata structure.