Good Migrations: A Checklist for Migrating Your Digital Preservation Infrastructure

My, how time flies. About half a decade ago, in 2015, I became one of the NDSA Infrastructure Interest Group co-chairs. This was part of the NDSA transition from being hosted by the Library of Congress to a new host, which would eventually be CLIR/DLF. Earlier that year, the Infrastructure Working Group (as it was known back then) drafted a document designed to be a checklist for system migrations. The draft was put out to the community for comments, but then, as the influence of the Library of Congress faded into the background during the move from one host to another, so did the main impetus for publishing the checklist. Ah, the sweet irony of a migration checklist being forgotten during a migration!

However, the checklist was not completely forgotten: it existed as a potential project in my head, one that I was interested in completing once other projects wrapped up. Yet the years passed and there were always other projects. Finally, in the summer of 2020, two events occurred: several significant projects finally did conclude and Nathan Tallman, an NDSA Coordinating Committee member and former co-chair of the Infrastructure Interest Group, reached out to me asking about the status of the Migration Checklist. “It’s time,” I thought. And it was. 

With that preface, I now introduce to you, “Good Migrations: A Checklist for Migrating Your Digital Preservation Infrastructure.” This checklist has changed significantly from its 2015 version due to the incredible amount of community feedback received in 2020. The 2020 Good Migrations Working Group; which consisted of myself, Nathan Tallman, Paige Walker, Linda Tadic and Matt Schultz; not only incorporated the community response, but also placed the checklist into a Levels of Preservation framework in order to better highlight how migration steps match preservation areas. Over the past six months, we have worked diligently to clarify scope and provide a comprehensive yet still succinct checklist that will hopefully aid those who are tackling a migration process. 

NDSA is interested in feedback from anyone who is using the Good Migrations checklist. Based on the level of community interest, NDSA may consider a followup working group to gather illustrative use cases to accompany the document and document methods for accomplishing checklist items. Please let us know if you use the Checklist and have found it to be of assistance

~Sibyl Schaefer, Chair of the Good Migrations Working Group

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