PREMIS, A Joint OCLC-RLG Working Group, wins 2005 Digital Preservation Award

Sponsored by the Digital Preservation Coalition, the award recognises new initiatives in digital preservation. The PREMIS Working Group, a team of 30 experts from five countries, was chosen for "leadership and advancement in digital preservation which will benefit the UK."

PREMIS, the "PREservation Metadata: Implementaion Strategies" working group, continues the collaboration of OCLC and RLG in developing a framework for digital preservation.

Priscilla Caplan (Florida Center Library Automation) and Rebecca Guenther (Library of Congress) chaired the group; Robin Dale (RLG) and Brian Lavoie (OCLC) were liaisons from the sponsoring organizations.

Preservation Metadata is essential to ensure that digital objects remain accessible over time. The work of PREMIS furthers the establishment of an international open-source standard for handling metadata.  Such a standard would help libraries and institutions around the world to archive digital content, the volume of which is doubling every year.

The PREMIS team were chosen ahead of four other shortlisted projects.

Judges cited the work PREMIS did to compile a data dictionary identifying core digital preservation metadata, supported with practical examples and a software protocol. A key factor in the decision was the international scope of PREMIS, and the consensus building and collaboration that is so crucial in so many digital preservation issues.

In his original presentation to the judging panel, Lavoie said: "This work illustrates a gradual shift from articulating the problem to solving it ... it's not so much 'Why is digital preservation important?' anymore; rather, 'What must be done to achieve preservation objectives?'."

The Digital Preservation Coalition sponsors the Digital Preservation Award under the banner of the Conservation Awards, which are supported by Sir Paul McCartney and managed in partnership by key organisations in conservation, restoration and preservation management.

The 2005 judging panel consisted of Richard Boulderstone (Chair), Director, e-Strategy, British Library; Sheila Anderson, Director, Arts and Humanities Data Service; Kevin Ashley, Head of the Digital Archives Department, University of London Computer Centre; David Dawson, Head of the Digital Futures Team, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council; Hans Jansen, Head of Research & Development Division, National Library of the Netherlands; Maggie Jones, Executive Secretary, Digital Preservation Coalition (sponsor of the Digital Preservation Award); Chris Rusbridge, Director, Digital Curation Centre; and David Seaman, Executive Director, Digital Library Federation.

For more information:

Brian Lavoie
Senior Research Scientist
OCLC Research

Bob Bolander
Communications & Programs Manager
OCLC Research