oais1.jpgNoted from the OAIS model.

The Information Package is the central entity within an OAIS archive. It comprises:

  • the Content Information ie. the actual Data Object which the archive is trying to preserve, plus its accompanying Representation Information
  • the Preservation Description Information, ie. all the info needed to preserve the CI, together with any Representation Information which the PDI itself needs to be understood.

The PDI is likely to describe

  • provenance: custody, history, processing history
  • context: why the CI was produced, how it relates to other CI objects
  • reference code or ISBN
  • fixity: a checksum or similar.

At its own discretion an OAIS can include Packaging Information about the Information Package. (Really!) This Packaging Information would be info like any file structure or directory structure which the data have.

In addition, there is the separately-stored metadata, the Descriptive Information. This is what allows the Information package to be found in the OAIS. It might just be the title of the IP, or a full set of searchable attributes.

It is important to distinguish between an Information package that is preserved by an OAIS and the Information packages which are submitted to and distributed by an OAIS.