The Semantic Archive project began
in ECHO DEPository Phase I. Its aim was to research the long-term
preservation of digital objects -- in particular to explore approaches
for "preserving the authenticity and semantic meaning of digital
resources through time" (see "Long-term preservation research").
Efforts during the first phase focused on identifying the fundamental
semantic questions surrounding long-term preservation, as well as on
modeling the ways in which semantic inference can help digital archives stave off preservation risks over time.
A key outcome of Phase I research was a draft metadata ontology, enabling a formal overview of how descriptive metadata for archived digital resources is structured, for use with BECHAMEL, a reasoning software application, and Tupelo, a "Semantic Content Repository framework." Using these tools, the idea was to automate the discovery and alleviation of preservation risks occurring because of factors such as migration of digital content and changes in data formats over the years.
In Phase II, building on the draft metadata ontology, the goals included:
- refining the developed inference model for a rules-based automatic generation of provenance metadata; and
- developing a proof-of-concept BECHAMEL implementation.
Other releases at the end of the project included a prototype of ontologies and inferred provenance information from BECHAMEL in standard formats (e.g., RDF/XML).