PREMIS (Preservation Metadata, Data Dictionary Maintenance Activity)
Official Web Site  

A Daunting PREMIS: Implementing Preservation Metadata within the METS Framework

Presented at 2006 International Conference on Digital Archive Technologies (ICDAT2006)

Jerome P. McDonough
Graduate School of Library & Information Science, UIUC

19-20 October 2006

Previous | Home | Next

PREMIS Data ModelNOTES: “To facilitate the logical organization of the PREMIS metadata elements, the group developed a simple model of five types of entities involved in digital preservation activities: Intellectual Entities, Objects, Events, Rights, and Agents.4 In the data model diagram, entities are drawn as boxes while the relationships between them are drawn as lines. The direction of the arrow shows the direction of the relationship link defined in the Data Dictionary; for example, the arrow from Rights to Agents means the metadata defined for Rights includes semantic units to identify the related agent(s). A double-headed arrow means reciprocal links are defined.”

* An Intellectual Entity is a coherent set of content that is reasonably described as a unit, for example, a particular book, map, photograph or database. An Intellectual Entity can contain other Intellectual Entities…. An Intellectual Entity may have one or more digital representations.

An Object, or Digital Object, is a discrete unit of information in digital form. Objects can be one of three subtypes: Representation, File or Bitstream

  • Representation -- set of files, including structural metadata, needed for a complete and reasonable rendition of an Intellectual Entity, e.g., for a page-image book an XML file giving structural metadata and all of the individual page image files.
  • File -- a named and ordered sequence of bytes that is known by an operating system.
  • Bitstream -- contiguous or non-contiguous data within a file that has meaningful common properties for preservation purposes

* An Event is an action that involves at least one object or agent known to the preservation repository.
* An Agent is a person, organization, or software program associated with preservation events in the life of an object.
* Rights, or Rights Statements, are assertions of one or more rights or permissions pertaining to an object and/or agent.