On behalf of the PREMIS Editorial Committee we are happy to announce the
publication of an OWL ontology for the PREMIS Data Dictionary for
Preservation Metadata version 2.1, a digital preservation standard based on
the OAIS reference model. This PREMIS OWL ontology tries to stick as closely
as possible to the PREMIS Data Dictionary, which was developed by experts in
the domain of long-term preservation and already had clearly defined
semantics for its metadata elements. Until now the PREMIS Data Dictionary
was only implemented as an XML schema, which remains ideal for creating,
validating and storing the preservation metadata of a particular digital

This OWL ontology allows one to express the same information in RDF. With
this alternative serialization, information can be more easily
interconnected, especially between different repository databases.
Information in RDF can be also easily and flexibly queried, which can be an
interesting option for the data management function of a repository. The
PREMIS OWL ontology also reaches out to preservation-specific vocabularies
already published by the Library of Congress on [1].

For all these reasons, the OWL design of PREMIS should NOT be considered as
a replacement for the XML Schema: the two of them should rather be
considered complementary.

The ontology is public and open for review [2]. There are still some designs
decisions open, formulated as questions to the ontology reviewers and
available on the PREMIS OWL Public Wiki [3]. Interested people can leave
their valuable feedback on the PREMIS OWL Wiki under Questions for
Reviewers. Feedback is very much welcome and will be taken into account for
the next release of the PREMIS OWL ontology.

For now, the ontology is available on the following namespace, but after it
is finalized it will move to a Library of Congress namespace:

Please send comments no later than Nov. 10, 2011 to be considered in a
revised version.

PREMIS Ontology Working Group:

Sam Coppens, University of Ghent

Sébastien Peyrard, Bibliothéque nationale de France

Rebecca Guenther, Library of Congress (now Independent consultant)

Kevin Ford, Library of Congress

Tom Creighton, Familysearch

[1] Preservation vocabularies:


[3] PREMIS OWL Wiki: