OAIS Activities

This activity is now closed. The information on this page is provided for historical purposes only.

Objective: To explore and support the use of OAIS— Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System—to preserve the types of digital data held and created in libraries, archives, and museums.

Overview: OAIS describes all the functions of a digital repository: how digital objects can be prepared, submitted to an archive, stored for long periods, maintained, and retrieved as needed. It does not address specific technologies, archiving techniques, or types of content. RLG built on the OAIS model in our digital preservation projects such as PREMIS and Digital Repository Certification. We also promoted its understanding and use through RLG forums, staff papers, and this Web page.

OAIS-modeled repositories

One lament frequently heard about the Open Archival Information System is that it is a reference model rather than an implementation plan. As a conceptual framework for a complete, generic archival system, OAIS's strength is in establishing common terms and concepts for describing repository architectures and comparing implementations—without specifying an implementation an organization should use. Because of this flexibility, the reference model has been used by a variety of organizations for planning and designing digital repositories of many different types.

This page indicates how the OAIS model has been used, facilitating comparison between implementations. The OAIS-modeled or -compliant repository schematics below were provided in response to a September 2002 call posted to an OAIS-implementers discussion list or made available in presentations and reports.

Some schematics display how OAIS functional entities are mapped to local processes or entities. Others represent how the OAIS information model is being applied for local SIPs/DIPs/AIPs (submission information/dissemination information/archival information packages).

Cedars Project (CURL Exemplars in Digital Archiving)

  • Cedars Guide to the Distributed Digital Archiving Prototype (pdf)
    —contains multiple schematics (2002)

Harvard University's Digital Repository

Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB)

  • High-level design of a deposit system for electronic publications
    —NEDLIB Project (1999)
  • OAIS Implementation: DNEP (PowerPoint)
    —Presented by Titia van der Werf at 12th International CCSDS meeting (May 2001)

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress's Archival Information Package for audiovisual materials
—Presentation contains multiple schematics (June 2002)
(available from archive.org)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

OCLC Digital Archive

TERM: the Texas Email Repository Model


Related projects

Repository Certification