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News from the Digital Library. The Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard; the Open Archival Information System. Merrilee Proffitt e(X)literature / Digital Cultures Project April 2003. A Telling Example. Goals of the Digital Library. Collection Access Preservation.

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News from the Digital Library

The Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard; the Open Archival Information System

Merrilee Proffitt

e(X)literature / Digital Cultures Project

April 2003

A Telling Example

Goals of the Digital Library

  • Collection

  • Access

  • Preservation

Unlike books (or papyrus) “bits …. don’t do well with benign neglect”

Problems with digital preservation

Open Archival Information System Reference Model

  • Framework for understanding and applying concepts needed for long-term preservation of digital information

  • Model targeted to several categories of user

  • Already widely adopted as starting point in digital preservation efforts

OAIS Functional Entities

SIP = Submission Information Package

AIP = Archival Information Package

DIP = Dissemination Information Package

Information Package Variants

  • Submission Information Package

    • Negotiated between Producer and OAIS

    • Sent to OAIS by a Producer

  • Archival Information Package

    • Information Package used for preservation

    • Includes complete set of Preservation Description Information for the Content Information

  • Dissemination Information Package

    • Includes part or all of one or more Archival Information Packages

    • Sent to a Consumer by the OAIS

Relevance of the OAIS

  • Offers common ground for discussion

    • Provides common terminology and concepts

  • Conceptual framework for building repository systems for digital content

  • Two components of Reference model

    • Functional model

    • Information model: model for packages of information

Reformatted to digital

“Born digital”



Digital (Library) Objects

Digital Library Objects can be…

Structural metadata

  • Maps physical files (digital assets) to logical items (complex digital objects)

    • Scanned print material

    • A/V material

    • Multimedia presentations

Other Metadata

  • All types of digital objects have other (non-structural) metadata

    • descriptive

      • MARC, Dublin Core, etc.

    • administrative

      • rights

    • technical

      • format details

    • Standards exist or emerging for these

METS Scope

  • Supports

    • Structural metadata

      • complex reformatted or born digital objects

    • Metadata wrapper framework

      • descriptive, administrative, structural, etc.

      • structural required

      • others use namespaces to reference “extension schemas”

METS Scope

  • Data transfer syntax

    • between applications

    • between institutions

  • Driver for applications

    • page turner

    • audio player

    • multimedia presentation

METS History

  • Making Of America II project 1997-2000

  • METS “born” February 2001

  • METS 1.0 July 2002

  • Current version is METS 1.2

METS metadata “buckets”



















METS and OAIS framework

  • Submission Information Package (SIP)

    • METS as transfer syntax

  • Dissemination Information Package (DIP)

    • METS as transfer syntax

    • METS as input to display applications

  • Archival Information Package (AIP)

    • METS stored internally in an archive

  • METS Initiative

    • Establishment of an editorial board with an editor-in-chief

    • Complete work on schema, ensure support for other digital library work

    • Encourage field testing of METS and gather feedback

    • Encourage tools development

    • Identification of “best practice” extension schemas

    Current users

    • Current users include

      • UC Berkeley

      • California Digital Library

      • NYU (digital archive)

      • Florida Center for Library Automation

      • Oxford University

      • British Library

      • National Library of New Zealand

      • Bibliothèque nationale de France

      • Harvard

      • Library of Congress

      • EU MetaE project

      • Michigan State

      • University of Virginia

      • MIT

      • RLG

      • more daily...

    METS summary

    • Closely related to OAIS information package

    • Large and growing community of digital library implementers

    • Very flexible

    • Flexibility means that profiles are necessary for interoperability

    METS homepage:

    OAIS Reference Model:


    Merrilee Proffitt

    For More Information…

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