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Date added 11 December 2006
Last edited 25 March 2009

Full Title

PREMIS Data Dictionary for Metadata Preservation


The PREMIS data model builds on the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model (ISO 14721), and defines relationships between five digital preservation activities which it calls entities:

  • Intellectual Entities
  • Objects (divided into three types: representation, file and bitstream)
  • Events
  • Agents
  • Rights

108 sub-entities and further qualifiers are defined for describing preservation activities of the latter four entities. Only 8 of these are mandatory.

The PREMIS Data Dictionary\'s scope is restricted to the digital preservation activities of:

  • Maintaining viability
  • Renderability
  • Understandability
  • Authenticity
  • Identity

It assumes metadata will be autogenerated as much as possible. Implementers are expected to use other applicable metadata standards to describe:

  • Intellectual Entities
  • The characteristics of Agents
  • Rights relating to access and /or distribution
  • Details of media and hardware
  • The business rules of a repository

Standards Developing Organisation




Lifecycle Actions

Access, Use and Reuse
Create or Receive
Description and Representation Information
Preservation Action
Preservation Planning

Standard Frameworks

Digital Archive Standards
Digital Repository Standards

Standard Type

Metadata Structure Standards

Current Version

Further Information

PREMIS Data Dictionary XML Schemas [external]
A set of XML schema containing all the semantic units defined in the PREMIS Data Dictionary.
Implementing the PREMIS Data Dictionary: a Survey of Approaches [external PDF]
Study on the implementation of PREMIS by Deborah Woodyard-Robinson, published 4 June 2007

Alternative Current Versions


Previous Version

Referenced Standards

ANSI/NISO Z39.85, The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set