Digital Continuity with OAIS and Archivematica



Archivematica and OAIS

Will “going digital” solve all your problems? Or, will it make life more complicated. This blog considers Digital Continuity – having plans and procedures in place to ensure that your digital assets will last for many years to come. This blog proposes digital continuity with OAIS and Archivematica.

An entire industry is growing up around the issue of digital continuity. Our Eloquent technical team is getting a lot of questions:

  • Are there really many different types of PDFs? Down the road, will I be able to read some, but not others?
  • Will my digital documents be accepted in court? Do they contain proof that they were not modified?
  • Is it true that Jpeg pictures will corrupt over time?

Eloquent customers have a single portal into all their information: physical or digital; archives, library, museum, or business records. They use the common tools available with any desktop browser or mobile device for immediate access to everything. They expect it to be available forever.

Open Archival Information System

The following schematic illustrates the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model which originated in the space industry and is now accepted by many information associations.

digital continuity

OAIS and Archivematica

The diagram illustrates the process of ensuring digital continuity. Your system will ingest a Submission Information Package (SIP) and process it into two other Information Packages: Archival (AIP) and Dissemination (DIP). You can find and render the DIP digital objects with a browser or mobile device using software such as WebGENCAT. All Eloquent Applications run on the WebGENCAT platform and contain all the descriptive/catalog data required for searching and display. The AIP contains the digital objects along with preservation and technical metadata required to support the objects’ long-term preservation.

The original digital objects and preservation masters are retained in the AIP, and new access copies can be generated from them as needed. Technical and preservation metadata in the AIP support the implementation of preservation plans such as normalization, migration and emulation over time.

Eloquent-Archivematica Interface

The Eloquent technical team will soon announce the Eloquent-Archivematica interface. The UNESCO Memory of the World Project, along with a number of institutions including the City of Vancouver Archives, the Rockefeller Archive Center and the University of British Columbia, commissioned the initial development of the open-source Archivematica digital preservation tool starting in 2009. Today it is widely used and well supported. It will ensure that our customer’s digital assets are maintained so that they can be authentically reproduced over time.The optional interface will be available for all Eloquent applications and will allow organizations to meet their mandates to preserve their digital holdings over the long term.

Eloquent is working with the technical people at Artefactual, the lead developers of Archivematica, to develop the WebGENCAT interface for OAIS and will include them in future customer projects when necessary. Eloquent customers will remain focused on loading their holdings and making them available online. Technical issues will not slow them down.

Links to more Information

Learn more about WebGENCAT™ software on Eloquent’s Website and gain access to several client databases under Client List. You can register for a webinar or private demo while on the website. You will learn how easy it is to get your digital content online for public access. Go to the website for Archivematica to learn more about the OAIS open source.

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