On 1 June 2006 you wrote to the PIG list:


"A quick question: we want to record PREMIS metadata for plain text
files (tab separated values, encoding UTF-8, CRLF as line separator).
Since there is as yet no format registry that offers full support for
this kind of file format we are wondering how to record the encoding in
PREMIS. As I understand there is no place for this information in the
format element. How do others deal with this problem?"


As the PREMIS review and revision process picks up speed the PREMIS
Editorial Committee has begun working its way through points raised by
PREMIS implementers. Please accept our apologies for taking so long to
reply to your query. Today we discussed yours, and agreed that we should
respond to the original query to the PIG Forum so that others can
participate in the discussion. I have been asked to respond on behalf of


Considering the detail you require to describe the format we agreed
that, as format information of this sort is implementation specific and
therefore outside the scope of PREMIS, this information should be kept
in some other way. Within METS, textMD seems a good place to store
implementation specific format information of this sort. 


Alternatively, you might consider using a term from a locally generated
controlled vocabulary within the semantic unit formatName, and store the
detailed technical meaning of each of the controlled terms (e.g. tab
separated values, encoding UTF-8, CRLF as line separator) outwith


Format registries do not at this time appear to provide this level of
descriptive detail.


The PREMIS EC would be interested to hear any comments relating to this


Steve Bordwell


Digital Data Archive Project Manager

Digital Access Team

National Archives of Scotland



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