ID cards, public transport tickets, and diplomas are examples of credentials that society has established as a means to provide trustworthy information to others. In the digital world, the emergence of self-sovereign identity as a new paradigm for the management of digital credentials aims to narrow the conceptual gap between digital and physical credentials. The ongoing digital transformation in the public sector requires dealing with a large variety of credentials in different forms systematically. However, there is still currently no generic conceptual model of credentials in the Information Systems (IS) discipline. We employ design science research to develop a unified meta-model on credentials, their use, and their governance. Our results contribute to research through an empirically grounded conceptualization of credentials and provide practitioners with a common basis to capture, analyze, and design the handling of credentials in real-world scenarios.