PREMIS (Preservation Metadata, Data Dictionary Maintenance Activity)
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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

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Trustworthy MetadataNOTES: If our users are going to believe us when we say we have preserved digital information, we have to have metadata that they consider trustworthy, which raises the very difficult question: What do we mean by ‘trustworthy’ metadata?

A known and trusted source -- which may not be known or trusted in the future. How do we document sources?
Metadata that has not experienced unauthorized changed -- how do we demonstrate that, particular in an age where computer scientists keep inventing remarkable new ways to create hash collisions?
Metadata that is accurate -- accurate by what standard? what level of accuracy are we willing to guarantee? What do we NEED to guarantee?
Metadata that is sufficient to need -- difficult when we cannot predict future needs, as the Apollo example demonstrates. Apparently the need to identify a specific mission’s tapes didn’t occur to anyone.
Metadata that is transparent -- transparency implies interpretability, and interpretability implies retaining sufficient knowledge of the originating context to allow you to figure out what was meant. How do we do that?