California Digital Library
Integrating Metadata Standards to Support Long-Term Preservation of Digital Assets: Developing Best Practices for Expressing Preservation Metadata in a Container Format
- Author(s): Guenther, Rebecca
- Wolfe, Robert
- et al.
This paper explores the purpose and development of best practice guidelines for the use of preservation metadata as detailed in the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata within documents conforming to the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS). METS is an XML schema that provides a container format integrating various forms of metadata with digital objects or links to digital objects. Because of the flexibility of METS to serve many different functions within digital systems and to support many different metadata structures, integration guidelines will facilitate common practices among institutions. There is constant tension between tighter control over the METS package to support object exchange versus each implementation's unique preservation metadata requirements given the different contexts and implementation models among PREMIS implementers. The PREMIS in METS Guidelines serve primarily as a standard for submission and dissemination information packages. This paper details the issues encountered in using the standards together, and how the METS document changes as events pertaining to the lifecycle of digital assets are recorded for future preservation purposes. The guidelines have enabled the implementation of an exchange format and creation/validation tools based on the PREMIS in METS guidelines.