Provenance: a plea

I was talking to some friends that run a nonprofit called Cultural Heritage Imaging. We had one of those wouldn't it be cool if discussions about one of my favorite words: provenance. This usually refers to the history (particularly of ownership) of an object. Wouldn't it be cool if file formats of all kinds had provisions for recording the provenance of a file? For example, wouldn't be cool if the EXIF header standard for JPEG (and other) files had a place for historical information? So that Photoshop and other imaging applications could record and least a summary of what was done to the file? This would be vaguely like what happens with mod histories in source control systems like CVS and SCCS, but integrated with the data, supported by the tools that do the modifications, carried with the file as it gets moved from place to place, and more automatic.
August 12, 2004