apeMETS

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The use of METS in the Archives Portal Europe

The Metadata Encoded and Transmission Standard (METS) is a generalised metadata framework, developed to encode the structural metadata for digital objects and related descriptive and administrative metadata. It is especially interesting for archives because it can combine images to objects and describe their internal structure. Launched by the Digital Library Federation, the METS initiative seeks to provide a single, standard mechanism for encoding all forms of metadata for digital objects. METS will simplify both the exchange of objects between repositories and the development of software tools for search and display of those objects. Additionally, METS encoding will provide a coherent means for archiving digital objects and their metadata. The METS standard is maintained by the Library of Congress and more information can be found on the METS-section of its website.

The Archives Portal Europe team first started using METS during the APEx project (2012–2015). The information of the first apeMETS implementation from 2014 can still be found on the website of the APEx project and has now completely been transferred to a section of this page. Recently, August 2017, the Archives Portal Europe team conducted a first revision of this apeMETS implementation under supervision of the Working Group on Standards of the Archives Portal Europe Foundation, namely the adaptation of the apeMETSRights schema. This was necessary to be able to align the apeMETSRights values and statements with the ones the portal is using for forwarding content to Europeana.



First apeMETS revision - August 2017

In order to align the apeMETSRights with the new rights statements Europeana is using, the Archives Portal Europe team slightly adapted the apeMETSRights schema in the Archives Portal Europe release of 30 August 2017. The old - APEx project - apeMETSRights schema allowed as values for @RIGHTSCATEGORY within //amdSec/rightsMD/mdWrap/xmlData/rts:RightsDeclarationMD: COPYRIGHTED, LICENSED, PUBLIC DOMAIN, CONTRACTUAL and OTHER, just like the official METSRights schema, but in case OTHER was chosen as value, it limited the values for the mandatory @OTHERCATEGORYTYPE in that case to: CC0, FREE ACCESS and UNKNOWN.

In the new – APEF – apeMETSRights schema the list of mandatory @OTHERCATEGORYTYPE values has been adapted to: CC0, CNE, INC, INC-EDU, INC-OW-EU, NOC-NC and NOC-OKLR, which makes it possible to use the Creative Commons as well as the Rights Statements rights. The mapping of rights information in METS files which the Archives Portal Europe can take in will be described below.

Creative Commons Licences

Almost all CC licences are triggered by using the keyword "COPYRIGHTED" as value for @RIGHTSCATEGORY. The only exception for this is content classified to be in the public domain, which uses the value "PUBLIC DOMAIN" instead:

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="PUBLIC DOMAIN"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="PUBLIC DOMAIN"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/">Public Domain Mark</extref>


If you just want to declare a standard CC BY licence, you can do so by setting the respective parameters as shown below:

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="COPYRIGHTED"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="CC BY"

apeEAD info within "userestrict":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution</extref>


All other CC BY licences also require an additional element called <rts:ConstraintDescription> which needs to be set to one of the values "SA", "NC", "ND", "NC-SA", or "NC-ND", depending on your desired licence. This element needs to be declared within //amdSec/rightsMD/mdWrap/xmlData/rts:RightsDeclarationMD/rts:Context/rts:Constraints.

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="COPYRIGHTED"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="CC BY-SA"
  • <rts:ConstraintDescription>SA</rts:ConstraintDescription>

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution, Share Alike</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="COPYRIGHTED"
  • <rts:ConstraintDescription>ND</rts:ConstraintDescription>
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="CC BY-ND"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution, No Derivatives</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="COPYRIGHTED"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="CC BY-NC"
  • <rts:ConstraintDescription>NC</rts:ConstraintDescription>

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="COPYRIGHTED"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="CC BY-NC-SA"
  • <rts:ConstraintDescription>NC-SA</rts:ConstraintDescription>

apeEAD info within "userestrict":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="COPYRIGHTED"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="CC BY-NC-ND"
  • <rts:ConstraintDescription>NC-ND</rts:ConstraintDescription>

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives</extref>


Finally, a CC0 licence is declared as below:
METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" OTHERCATEGORYTYPE="CC0"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="OTHER CC0"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/">Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication</extref>

Europeana rights statements

Europeana rights statements are triggered by the combination of @RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" and the respective value for @OTHERCATEGORYTYPE as seen below:

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" OTHERCATEGORYTYPE="INC"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="RS In Copyright"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/">In Copyright</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" OTHERCATEGORYTYPE="INC-EDU"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="RS INC-EDU"

apeEAD info within "userestrict":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/">In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" OTHERCATEGORYTYPE="INC-OW-EU"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="RS INC-OW-EU"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-OW-EU/1.0/">In Copyright - EU Orphan Work</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" OTHERCATEGORYTYPE="NOC-NC"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="RS NOC-NC"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-NC/1.0/">No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only</extref>

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" OTHERCATEGORYTYPE="NOC-OKLR"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="RS NOC-OKLR"

apeEAD info within "userestrict":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-OKLR/1.0/">No Copyright Other Known Legal Restrictions</extref>
and in this case an explanation for these Other Known Legal Restrictions is mandatory, to be put in "rts:RightsHolderComments" METS which will be stored in a "p"-element within "userestict" in apeEAD

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="OTHER" OTHERCATEGORYTYPE="CNE"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="RS CNE"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/CNE/1.0/">Copyright Not Evaluated</extref>

Other licences

In theory, it is also possible to import the standard METSRights values "LICENSED" and "CONTRACTUAL" as a value for @RIGHTSCATEGORY in apeMETSRights. However, as there is no direct translation to an existing rights statement, apeMETS will map these values to the NoC-OKLR statement from rightsstatement.org as seen below. As a consequence, please make sure that you provide an explanation about the license or the contract within the element <rts:RightsHolderComments>.

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="LICENSED"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="LICENSED"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-OKLR/1.0/">No Copyright Other Known Legal Restrictions</extref>
and in this case an explanation for these Other Known Legal Restrictions is mandatory, to be put in "rts:RightsHolderComments" METS which will be stored in a "p"-element within "userestict" in apeEAD

METSRights info:

  • RIGHTSCATEGORY="CONTRACTUAL"
  • rts:RightsDeclaration CONTEXT="CONTRACTUAL"

apeEAD info within "//userestrict/p":
<extref xlink:href="http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-OKLR/1.0/">No Copyright Other Known Legal Restrictions</extref>
and in this case an explanation for these Other Known Legal Restrictions is mandatory, to be put in "rts:RightsHolderComments" METS which will be stored in a "p"-element within "userestict" in apeEAD


N.B.: Of course rights tagged like this in apeMETS files and transferred via the local EAD to apeEAD conversion tools of the Archives Portal Europe to apeEAD files, will automatically be transferred to Europeana EDM files when using the apeEAD to EDM conversion of the portal.

Original apeMETS implementation - April 2014

With the publication of the report "State of the art (SOTA) report on METS and recommendations for its implementation in the Archives Portal Europe", Deliverable D4.7 of the APEx Project, on 28 April 2014, the first implementation of apeMETS in the Archives Portal Europe was completed.

The report:

  • explains how the apeMETS profile was developed within the APEx project
  • deals with how the apeMETSRights profile was built
  • encodes the descriptions of 1) apeMETS and 2) apeMETSRights
  • describes the use of apeMETS, including the local use of apeMETS besides the use in the portal
  • presents different cases of using METS in conjunction with the Archives Portal Europe
  • explains shortly how a conversion script was developed to transform an apeEAD file with several constituent links per archival unit into an apeEAD file plus newly-created apeMETS files in order to link to digital objects in a more structured way
  • gives some general ideas on how apeMETS could be developed into a topic for the planned Archives Portal Europe Foundation (APEF)

Please find here the Annexes of the deliverable:

  • Annex 1: apeMETS profile; the whole profile as an XML file offers a detailed description of apeMETS and its use; furthermore it already contains example files
  • Annex 2: apeMETS encoding table; all elements and attributes of apeMETS in a well-structured table
  • Annex 3: apeMETS schema; the schema to be used for validating METS files against apeMETS
  • Annex 4: apeMETS examples; examples of apeMETS as constituent XML files
  • Annex 5: apeEAD2apeMETS transformation script
  • Annex 6: apeMETSRights encoding table; all elements and attributes of apeMETSRights in a well-structured table
  • Annex 7: apeMETSRights schema; the schema to be used for validating the administrative metadata section of METS files against apeMETSRights in combination with a validation against apeMETS
  • Annex 8: apeMETSRights example; example to learn and see more about how apeMETSRights can be used