23 April 2013 | 10:00 - 16:00 Euston Road, London | Pullman Hotel


It has long been recognised that competent documentation is a critical component to the deployment of data.  The problem is brought into sharp focus in the long term when the creators are not available to explain their working assumptions or to elucidate codes and fixes.  Sometimes called representation information, though more widely known as preservation metadata, this essential form of documentation secures the change of custody, tracks rights holders, captures changes, delineates architectures and describes the significant properties of data sets.  It’s no exaggeration to say that, without appropriate documentation there is precious little competent access in the present and no prospect for access in the future.  Preservation metadata captures and communicates the context in which digital resources can be rendered useful.

Such documentation may be essential but it is not immediately clear what to document nor how to present it.  Two standards have come to particular prominence in recent years to help address these connected questions: the PREMIS data dictionary and the METS encoding standard.  The PREMIS data dictionary was first published in 2005 and provides a comprehensive guide to the core metadata necessary to support long term preservation, structured around five principle entities:  objects, intellectual entities, events, agents and rights. METS, a standard for encoding and transmitting metadata has a range of uses outside of strict preservation functions but since it is a widely used and widely understood method of packaging metadata it enables a simple expression of an archival information packages in a familiar form.  PREMIS and METS are becoming common place within preservation and examples of their deployment have helped the standards to evolve in response to practical experience. 

This DPC briefing day anticipates the launch of the second edition of the popular Technology Watch Report on Preservation Metadata published in 2005. Leaders in the field will be invited to provide an introduction to both standards. Recent case studies will be presented and speakers will be invited to consider emerging and future trends.  Participants will be invited to reflect on their own needs and an extended discussion will follow.

Participants at this workshop will:

  • Have an advanced introduction to issues of preservation metadata
  • Be updated on the latest developments of METS and PREMIS
  • Hear case studies that put the standards into practice and the issues that have resulted
  • Have an opportunity to discuss their own concerns about preservation metadata with developers behind the standards and practitioners already working with them
  • Examine the role of preservation metadata and representation information within a wider preservation architecture
  • Be encouraged to contribute to the development of the standards and related tools
  • Meet others using or considering the implementation of PREMIS and METS within their own preservation architectures

Who should come?

This workshop will interest:

  • Records managers and information officers in organisation that rely on long-lived data
  • Risk managers, executives and chief information officers seeking to minimise information risk or maximise information potential
  • Collections managers, librarians, curators and archivists in all institutions
  • Tools developers and policy makers in digital preservation
  • Innovators and researchers in information technology and computing science
  • Vendors and providers of services for preservation, records management and forensics
  • Innovators, vendors and commentators on digital preservation and cognate fields
  • Analysts seeking to develop tools and approaches for information management

Outline Programme

1030    Welcome and introductions - William Kilbride, DPC

1035    Preservation metadata: an overview - Richard Gartner, King’s College London

1115      A practical exercise in preservation metadata - Angela Dappert, DPC

1200    Premis from theory to practice - Rob Sharpe, Tessella

1230    Q+A (chaired by William Kilbride)

1240    Lunch

1330    METS is the answer (what was the question?) - Dave Thompson, Wellcome Trust

1350    Using METS, a case study from Intranda - Steffen Hankiewicz, Intranda Ltd

1410     Using METS, a case study from Cambridge University Library - Huw Jones, Cambridge University Library

1430    Q&A

1440    Tea and Coffee

1500   PREMIS, METS and preservation metadata: emerging trends and future directions - Eld Zierau, The Royal Library, Denmark.  

1530   Roundtable

1630   Thanks and Close   

 We would love to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think by completing a feedback form and emailing to info AT dpconline.org



Blogs on the event:

Jen Mitcham, Borthwick Institute, University of York: http://digital-archiving.blogspot.co.uk/

Ed Pinsent, ULCC: http://dablog.ulcc.ac.uk/2013/04/25/ask-not-premis/

Scroll to top