Preservation Metadata Framework Working Group

In 2001-2002, OCLC and RLG convened an international working group of experts, representing a variety of institutions and initiatives, to consider and discuss fundamental issues associated with the use of metadata to support digital preservation.

Objectives and results

The objectives of the Working Group were two-fold:

  1. …to define the concept of preservation metadata, describe its importance in context of the overall digital preservation process, examine the "state-of the-art" in the use of metadata in support of digital preservation, and evaluate the prospects for a community-wide, consensus-building activity in the area of preservation metadata.

    The Working Group addressed this objective with the publication of:

    Preservation Metadata for Digital Objects: A Review of the State of the Art (PDF:191K/50pp.)

    This document provides a discussion of the issues listed above, and sets the context for the Working Group's second objective.

  2. …to develop a framework outlining the types of information—i.e., metadata—that should be associated with an archived digital object.

    The results of the Working Group's discussions were published in:

    A Metadata Framework to Support the Preservation of Digital Objects (PDF:696K/54pp.)
    Read the news release.

    The metadata framework takes the form of

    1. an expanded conceptual structure for the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) information model, and
    2. a set of metadata elements, mapped to the conceptual structure and reflecting the information concepts and requirements articulated in the OAIS model.


  • Brian Lavoie, OCLC Liaison
  • Robin Dale, RLG Liaison
  • Michael Alexander, British Library
  • Kevin Bradley, National Library of Australia
  • Michael Day, UKOLN
  • Rebecca Guenther, Library of Congress
  • Bernard Hurley, University of California, Berkeley
  • Catherine Lupovici, NEDLIB
  • Oya Reiger, Cornell University
  • Derek Sergeant, CEDARS
  • Titia van der Werf, NEDLIB
  • Colin Webb, National Library of Australia
  • Robin Wendler, Harvard University
  • Deborah Woodyard, British Library


The activities of this Working Group are now complete.


Please contact Brian Lavoie with any inquiries.

Updated: 5 March 2003