A tremendous growth in computational power, and in networking bandwidth and connectivity, has resulted in an explosion in the number of organizations making digital information available. Transactions among all types of organizations are being conducted using digital forms that are taking the place of more traditional media such as paper.
Preserving information in digital forms is much more difficult than preserving information in forms such as paper and film. This is not only a problem for traditional Archives, but also for many organizations that have never thought of themselves as performing an archival function. Along with the many advantages in terms of, for example, searchability and replication, the spread of digital technology in every field brings certain disadvantages. The rapid obsolescence of digital technologies creates considerable technical dangers, particularly a much greater risk than in the past of losing the possibility of restoring, rendering or interpreting the information. Ways of avoiding or reducing these dangers will be detailed throughout this Recommendation. Nevertheless, it would be unwise to consider the problem from a solely technical standpoint. There are also organizational, legal, industrial, scientific and cultural issues to be considered. To ignore the problems raised by preserving information in digital forms would lead inevitably to the loss of this information.
It is expected that this reference model, by establishing minimum requirements for an OAIS Archive along with a set of archival concepts, will provide a common framework from which to view archival challenges, particularly as they relate to digital information. This should enable more organizations to understand the issues and take the proper steps to ensure Long Term information preservation. It should also provide a basis for more standardization and, therefore, a larger market that vendors can support in meeting archival requirements.
--Please retain original text above for reference. Propose amendments or additions below this line or respond using the Discussion tab above--
These wiki pages are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Attribute as "Community forum for digital preservation and curation standards http://wiki.dpconline.org/". The content on this wiki represents the opinions of the author and not the Digital Preservation Coalition. This wiki is not associated with ISO, the OAIS Standard or the CCSDS.