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Main Page > Development > Development documentation > Metadata elements > METS

METS for Archivematica AIP

Basic outline

  • The METS file will have a basic generic structure which will be present for all AIPs derived from different kinds of transfers.
METS outline.png


  • There may be one dmdSec for the AIP as a whole. Each original file may also have a dmdSec.
  • The dmdSecs are numbered dmdSec_01, dmdSec_02 etc.
  • The dmdSec contains Dublin Core metadata. If the user does not enter any DC metadata during transfer/ingest and no DC metadata was included in the transfer (eg as part of a DSpace export), there will be no dmdSec.
  • The dmdSec may contain a reference to metadata in another file, such as a mets.xml file included in a DSpace export.


  • There is one amdSec for each object.
  • The amdSec is identified by the filename and UUID.
  • Each amdSec will include one techMD and one digiprovMD
  • An amdSec for an original object may also contain one or more rightsMDs. The rightsMD may contain a reference to metadata in another file, such as a mets.xml file included in a DSpace export.


  • There is one fileSec listing all files.
  • The fileSec is organized into the following fileGrps:
    • original
    • preservation
    • service
    • access
    • submissionDocumentation
    • license
    • text/ocr
  • Original and submissionDocumentation are required for all METS files.
  • Preservation is required if the AIP includes normalized files.
  • Service and Access may be used if the AIP contains those subfolders - i.e as the output of digitization workflows.
  • License and text/ocr are used if the AIP was created from a DSpace export containing licenses and ocr text files.


  • There is one structMap showing the physical layout of the files in the objects directory.

Detailed outline

METS outline 1a.png
METS outline 1b.png



The dmdSec consists of simple Dublin Core, except for <isPartOf>, which is a qualification of <Relation>.



The descriptive metadata for DSpace collections are contained in the METS files that come with the DSpace export, so the Archivematica METS file will point to them using mdRef. In this example, dmdSec_01 points to the collection-level mets file; dmdSec_02 and dmdSec_03 point to the mets files for the objects:



The amdSec consists of either PREMIS metadata created by Archivematica or (in the case of rights metadata) references to external content. The screenshot below shows the amdSec for a file that has two rightsMD sections, one with rights captured in the PREMIS metadata (rightsMD_01) and one pointing to rightsMD sections in an external METS file (rightsMD_02).

METS amdSec.png

METS for Archivematica transfer

Archivematica creates a METS file for each transfer showing a structMap for the transfer.

METS transfer.png