This guest post is provided by Evviva Weinraub, Services Manager at Digital Preservation Network (DPN).
When institutions digitize content, or accept born digital content, they are beginning the long journey of digital preservation. Digital preservation starts as soon as you take possession of a digital object. If you have a repository, some of these decisions have been thought through, but the responsibility and challenges are still there.
So, you work with your local IT group, whether they be your library IT or your campus IT to find the right hardware to store your content. You make sure they have your data backed up, maybe to another facility across town or a copy with an outside group such as DuraCloud, MetaArchive, Arkivum, APTrust, or Chronopolis, and there is at least one tape backup of the data going to an offsite storage facility. You work to make sure checksums are being done on your data on a regular basis.
You read the preservation specs which recommend at least three copies in diverse locations. You’ve got that. You want to make sure they are diverse architectures. You’ve got that. You’re feeling pretty good, overall. You should. You’ve created a digital preservation plan in case you lose your local copy for some reason.
But what happens if the institution fails? What happens if there is a regional disaster? What happens if the political climate at your institution changes, and the content you’re responsible for is no longer desired? What happens to your data then?
The Digital Preservation Network (DPN) is a federation of 60+ institutions in higher education who are working together to not just to create a network of dark, diverse, replicated repositories, but to provide those members that deposit content a guarantee of recoverability for at least 20 years, and the ability to transfer the stewardship role for that content to another institution under specific circumstances.
DPN is set to be live for preservation ingestion in January 2016. We have been thoroughly testing our network with our partners; APTrust, Texas Digital Libraries, Hathi Trust, Chronopolis, DuraSpace, and Stanford Digital Libraries, over the last few months and have recently begun testing larger scale ingestion and transfer throughout the network using HathiTrust data. We are close to having finalized legal documentation out to our membership, and are busy working through ingestion services for users.
It’s an exciting time for DPN! Visit our poster session to learn more about DPN and where we are with our go-live timeline. We’ve proudly sponsored the DLF forum so we can reach out to members of the digital library community and learn more about what your needs are and how we can meet them together.