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System Requirements for Archives Access Systems (v.1)

November 4th, 2005 · No Comments · Archives Access Systems, System Requirements

In order to study existing Archives Access Systems and to develop prototypes that incorporate Web 2.0 features, I will need to develop a core set of generic system requirements that describes what an Archives Access System must be able to do.

The first version of this core set of system requirements will be based on work I’ve done in some previous consulting projects. It assumes the viewpoint of a digital archives that captures, preserves and provides access to ‘born-digital’ information and not that of a traditional archives reference service that provides access to analogue archival materials to patrons in a physical reference room.

The two primary inputs to the first version of this core set of requirements is the ISO Standard: Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model (1) and the InterPARES Project’s Model of the Preservation Function (2). Each of the requirements listed below is traceable to at least one citation from these two sources.

I will update this core set as my research progresses. Obviously this first version requires additional context, definitions, etc.. It is also does not include requirements that provide any Web2.0 features or practices.

System Requirements for Archives Access Systems (v1.0)

1. Create Access Aids
2. Make Access Aids Available
   2.1 Provide a Search Interface
      2.1.1 Receive Search Query Receive Basic Search Query Receive Advanced Search Query
      2.1.2 Process Search Query Search Metadata Profile Search Finding Aid Search Taxonomy Search Information Object
      2.1.3 Send Search Results Sort and Format Search Results Send Search Progress Information Send Search Context Information
   2.2 Provide a Browse Interface
      2.2.1 Provide a Finding Aid Browse
      2.2.2 Provide a Taxonomy Browse
      2.2.3 Provide an Information Object Browse
   2.3 Provide Online Exhibits
   2.4 Provide Web Services/API interface (metadata harvesting, repository federation, export)

3. Provide Access Help
   3.1 Provide Navigation Aids
   3.2 Provide Online Help
   3.3 Provide Help From Archivist

4. Maintain User Accounts
   4.1 Enter User Personal Information
   4.2 Enter User Access Priviliges and Permissions
   4.3 Enter User Preferences
   4.3 Log User’s Visit Information
   4.3 Log User’s Help Requests
   4.3 Log User’s Retrieval Requests
   4.3 Store User’s Saved Searches
   4.3 Store User’s Bookmarks

5. Process Request for Information Object
   5.1 Receive Request
      5.1.1 Receive Ad-Hoc Request
      5.1.2 Receive Event-Based Request
   5.2 Review Request Validity
   5.3 Review Access Restrictions
   5.4 Review Availability
   5.5 Review Technical Requirements
   5.6 Make Request Decision (accept/deny)

6. Retrieve Information Object
   6.1 Assemble Information Object
   6.2 Gather Metadata
      6.2.3 Produce Certificate of Authenticity

7. Present Information Object
   7.1 Package Information Object and Metadata
   7.2 Send Information Object and Metadata
   7.3 Render Information Object and Metadata

1) International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 14721:2003 Open Archival Information System (OAIS) — Reference model (2003).

2) InterPARES Project. Appendix 5—A Model of the Preservation Function in Findings of the InterPARES Project (2002).