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.