October 2014

The Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model: Introductory Guide (2nd Edition)

by Brian Lavoie

Originally developed as part of a broader effort to develop formal standards for the long-term storage of digital data generated from space missions, the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) has since formed the foundation of numerous architectures, standards, and protocols, influencing system design, metadata requirements, certification, and other issues central to digital preservation. This Technology Watch Report traces the history, salient features, and impact of the OAIS reference model. It is suitable both as a gentle introduction to OAIS for those new to the reference model, or as a resource for practitioners wishing to reacquaint themselves with the basics of the model and subsequent developments. The report concludes witha brief discussion of OAIS’s key benefits and limitations, drawn from the model’s legacy of more than a
decade of use in the digital preservation community.

View the Guide
Digital Preservation Coalition

Suggested citation:

Brian Lavoie. 2014. The Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model: Introductory Guide (2nd Edition). DPC Technology Watch Report 14-02. York, UK: Digital Preservation Coalition. 

The Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model:Introductory Guide (2nd Edition)