Monday, March 01, 2004

OAIS

The Open Archival Information System Reference Model: Introductory Guide by Brian Lavoie is a useful introduction and survey of this preservation model. The 20 page PDF file did take a while to load, give it time, it is worth the wait. (Do not confuse OAI and OAIS).
The significance attached to OAIS compliance, both now and in the future, ultimately rests on whether it produces a tangible impact on stakeholder confidence in a digital archive’s ability to meet its preservation objectives. Libraries, museums, and other collecting institutions, for example, are faced with the prospect of entrusting irreplaceable portions of the scholarly and cultural record to digital archiving systems whose capacity to provide effective long-term stewardship is as yet unproven. Does OAIS compliance make this decision easier? At this stage in the reference model’s development, a tentative “yes” seems appropriate. The OAIS reference model has been quite successful in consolidating understanding of the fundamental requirements for securing the long-term persistence of digital materials. A shared perception of these requirements is a necessary condition for building well-understood, sustainable, and ultimately, trusted digital archiving systems.

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