Digital preservation architecture

Active digital preservation can be defined in four stages: select and transfer, ingest, preserve and access. However, the activities and processes at each stage of the workflow can be comprised of many different tools, applications and systems working behind the scenes to enable an archive to successfully preserve and make accessible digital collections. These tools, applications and systems combine to create an architecture that supports the whole workflow but can be constructed in a variety of ways. Deciding on the form of architecture that is right for your organisation can be a lengthy process and requires thoughtful planning and local considerations.

We have produced case studies about the digital preservation architecture of three archive services. Each archive has an individual approach, highlighting the different ways that systems and workflows can be created. With a focus on utilising open source tools where possible and amplifying the importance of working with IT colleagues, each case study is markedly different but ultimately fulfils the same mission – to effectively manage and preserve their growing digital collections for today’s and tomorrow’s researchers.

University of Hull

When Hull was named as the 2016 City of Culture, the University of Hull used this as the catalyst to develop a full digital archive solution.

South West Heritage Trust

The South West Heritage Trust used the opportunities of New Burdens funding and a move to an independent IT network to work with Arkivum and Metadatis in developing a digital preservation solution.

University of Warwick: Modern Records Centre

The Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick have adopted an iterative approach to their digital preservation architecture with a focus on trialing new tools and workflows on a small budget.