PREMIS Working Group Publishes Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata; final product of consensus-building effort jointly sponsored by OCLC and RLG

OCLC and RLG are pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive guide to core metadata for supporting the long-term preservation of digital materials. Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata: Final Report of the PREMIS Working Group is the product of the foremost international consensus-building effort directed at preservation metadata, and it is likely to become the foundation for future work in this area.

Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata and related materials can be viewed and downloaded at Comments and questions on the data dictionary can be submitted to

The data dictionary is the final product of the PREMIS (Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies) working group. Jointly sponsored by OCLC and RLG, PREMIS is an international set of more than 30 experts from libraries, museums, archives, government, and the private sector. The working group has been chaired by Priscilla Caplan, assistant director for digital library services at the Florida Center for Library Automation, and Rebecca Guenther, senior networking and standards specialist at the Library of Congress. Brian Lavoie, OCLC senior research scientist, and Robin Dale, RLG program officer, have served as liaisons to the group.

Ongoing maintenance of the data dictionary and associated XML schemas, along with a forum for implementors, will be provided by the PREMIS maintenance activity at

Jay Jordan, OCLC president and CEO, said: "Retaining and maintaining materials in digital form for ongoing use is a complex challenge to the members of both OCLC and RLG. We all benefit when working groups like PREMIS engage the library and research communities so effectively and deliver practical, applicable guidance for emerging technologies."

"Libraries and other research institutions are working with RLG and OCLC to ensure that important tools are there to support a future for digital research materials,” said RLG president and CEO James Michalko.  "The first RLG-OCLC joint sponsorship in the digital preservation arena was the working group that produced Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities (PDF:218K/70pp.) in 2002. This has been a productive partnership for everyone."

Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata includes in a single document the PREMIS working group’s final report, the data dictionary, and a series of examples illustrating use of the data dictionary. The report, data dictionary, and examples can also be downloaded as three separate documents.

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit computer service and research organization that provides computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing and preservation services to 53,000 libraries in 96 countries and territories.

RLG is an international not-for-profit member organization that works to support researchers and learners worldwide by expanding access to materials held in libraries, archives, and museums. RLG designs and delivers innovative information discovery services, organizes collaborative programs, and takes an active role in creating and promoting relevant standards and practices.

PR contact

Bob Murphy, OCLC

More Information

Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata and related materials

PREMIS maintenance activity


For more information:

Brian Lavoie
Research Scientist
OCLC Research

Robin Dale
Program Officer