PREMIS – one year after receiving the award

PREMIS – one year after receiving the award


A blog post by Karin Bredenberg (Sydarkivera) and Micky Lindlar (TIB)

Who can’t remember this: Digital Preservation Awards 2022 – Winner of the DPC 20th Anniversary Award at iPRES 2022

Winner banner with a green bottom and a gold medal in the middle

The PREMIS Data Dictionary and Related Resources was selected as one of three finalists for the prestigious DPC 20th Anniversary Award in 2022. The PREMIS Editorial Committee was proud when the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata, the international standard for metadata to support the preservation of digital objects and ensure their long-term usability, was selected as the winner. To freshen up your minds, the Data Dictionary defines preservation metadata that:

  • Supports the viability, renderability, understandability, authenticity, and identity of digital objects in a preservation context
  • Represents the information most preservation repositories need to know to preserve digital materials over the long term
  • Emphasizes “implementable metadata”: rigorously defined, supported by guidelines for creation, management, and use, and oriented toward automated workflows
  • Embodies technical neutrality: no assumptions made about preservation technologies, strategies, metadata storage and management, etc.

If you want to learn more about the history of PREMIS, this is the post from a year ago: 

When we got the award it was celebrated in grand style with portraits of all who are or have been a member of the PREMIS Editorial Committee throughout the years.

Image showing members of the PREMIS Editorial Committee and of the Digital Preservation Awards Jury at the DPA2022 ceremony

Members of the PREMIS Editorial Committee and of the Digital Preservation Awards Jury at the DPA2022 ceremony. The images represent members current and past of the PREMIS Editorial Committee – the “empty picture slots” stand for the community! (Image Credit: dpc)

Result of the award: Enteder PREMIS

With the award came an award sum. We decided to use the award sum to give back to the community and to further spread the word of PREMIS. The money was used to better support our Spanish speaking users and create a new version of the Spanish translation of our supporting document “Understanding PREMIS: An Overview of the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata”. “Entender PREMIS” is available for download via the PREMIS website

This document is the first document you should read when you start your work of implementing and using PREMIS. As a companion to the translation we made two webinars celebrating the translation and giving a short insight into PREMIS with the possibility of participating in a Q&A. The first webinar was delivered in English during a time slot best suitable for the  European and African continents as well as parts of Asia and the second webinar was given in both, English and Spanish, during a time zone better suited for North and South America as well as Australia and Asia.

The PREMIS Editorial Committee is very thankful for the support we have received from the DPC in setting up these webinars, as well as for all above-and-beyond support we received from Red Iberoamericana de Preservatión Digital de Archivos Sonoros y Audiovisuales (RIPDASA) in assisting us with the Spanish language webinar. The knowledge and support that RIPDASA is bringing to the Ibero-American digital preservation community deserves much praise!

Both webinars were recorded and are available through the DPC website (Webinar in English, webinar in Spanish).

A core activity: Outreach

The PREMIS Editorial Committee has devoted considerable effort toward educational outreach in the digital preservation community. This effort has primarily taken the form of a series of tutorials aimed at acquainting participants with the PREMIS Data Dictionary, providing a comprehensive overview of the Dictionary’s contents, and discussing key implementation issues. The tutorials often include a panel of representatives from institutions and projects currently implementing PREMIS, who share and discuss their preservation metadata experiences and perspectives. The PREMIS Editorial Committee is available to do tutorials upon request. 

Another part of outreach is participating at iPres. There is no surprise that PREMIS is mentioned and the subject of many different types of sessions throughout the whole conference and the PREMIS Editorial Committee participates in many different ways every year.

This year we chaired a workshop in our PREMIS Implementation Fair series. The implementation Fairs are a way to let users of PREMIS engage in  conversation and share their usage of preservation metadata and what they have learnt about PREMIS during their implementation or plans to implement (or decisions not to do so!). It is an excellent way for the community to truly interact and to for those attending to see that they are not alone with their various experiences!

Our focus this year for the Implementation Fair were three strands; PREMIS in emulation, PREMIS in end-to-end systems and implementations of using PREMIS for rights. We had a good lineup of speakers who, in most cases, covered even more than one of the focus strands. Through “real implementation stories” both, the PREMIS Editorial Committee as well as the participants in the fully booked Implementation Fair learnt a lot and we look forward to a continuation of those conversations.

Image showing participants and speakers at the PREMIS Implementation Fair at iPres2023

Image from the PREMIS Implementation Fair at iPres 2023. (Image Credit: iPres)

We also participated in iPres with a poster where Eld Zierau delivered a full overview of PREMIS in four minutes. Well done Eld!

Eld Zierau delivering a full overview of PREMIS in four minutes.

Eld Zierau delivering a full overview of PREMIS in four minutes.  (Image Credit: Karin Bredenberg)

Housekeeping: Administrative Work

The PREMIS Editorial Committee is still eternally busy tackling almost 20 years of administrative growth and we are currently working on reorganizing our documentation and resources to make them more usable, accessible, and maintainable—this work is resulting in a gradually more simplified website design that incorporates and links out to other more dynamic sub-services, such as OPF (our host for our soon to be reorganized wiki), Zenodo (our host service for PREMIS tutorials and papers), and COPTR (our host for our old Implementation Registry).

As you can see, we’ve been busy since you read from us last on an OPF blog – and we promise that we will continue to do so! As the WDPD2023 theme states, digital preservation is a “concerted effort” – and while the data dictionary gives us all the notes and musical theory to choose from, we all come up with different pieces of music. While PREMIS is undeniably a de-facto standard, it needs people to make it come to life, to be willing to talk about what worked and what didn’t work and to maintain it.

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