What is an “Information of Representation” ?
In a broad sense, that’s all that gives meaning to the string of bits that constitutes the archived object to restore the archived content, understand and interpret it. So it is this , combined with the digital object, that will be the information content by the OAIS.
an information of representation” may be :
- a structure information that explains how other information is organized (eg, tables of correspondence between filenames and page numbers for a book scanned) ;
- or a semantic information that provides additional information on particular significance to assign to each structure information (eg in the case of an archive consisting of text, the semantic information provides an explanation of the language in which the archive is expressed).
To be useful, information representation must necessarily be adapted to knowledge base of users of the archive (ie the “target user community,” according to the OAIS), both present and future.
So, let’s say that Chinese literature fund of the fourteenth century, after digitization, is archived. The archive service shall ensure that the target community (potential users) knows the Chinese alphabet of the fourteenth century and the codes of the literature and the history of China. Otherwise, it will ensure that this information is available somewhere in a sustainable manner and to ensure their link or to archive them in his system in the same way that scanned documents.
The library of information representation at CINES :
At CINES, all of this information is gathered in a ((Bibliothèque d’Informations de Représentation (BIR) on formats)). It contains:
- The formats specifications of archived files;
- The XSD or DTD schemasdocumented of archived XML files.
This information allows us to guarantee the readability or the recoverability of a file to a given format with the understanding of how this format is formed.
The information representation are ingested by the system :
- for file formats specifications: upstream of archiving of documents, when adding a new format in the list of archivable formats;
- for XML files schema: during archiving file, the schema to which it refers is automatically ingested by the BIR.
This information is stored in a database separate from the archiving system, which is saved.