Director of LOCKSS Program
David S.H. Rosenthal
Chief Scientist, LOCKSS Program
The LOCKSS Program allows libraries to reclaim their role in society as a memory organization. Libraries can choose to build, preserve, and provide access to electronic collections they have purchased or acquired. This can reverse the unintended negative consequence of the web: important materials are leased or accessed for relatively short periods of time.
We have had many accomplishments since the last CNI update. In April 2004 we released production software. The worldwide user community has grown; librarians are cooperating to build collections and adapt the system to new genres, especially in the humanities. Many publishers are cooperating to return the responsibility of building long-term collections to libraries. Publishers are also considering delivering different blocks of content to different libraries for collection and preservation.
Development and testing of new capabilities, such as on-demand transparent format migration, continues apace. Prize-winning computer science research is being applied to fix scaling and attack resistance issues with the current LOCKSS protocol. Libraries are experimenting with collecting and preserving web sites, institutionally produced materials, newspapers, etc.
The LOCKSS system took five years to develop, test, build, and deploy. We’re working to keep the Stanford team around for another five years to continue technology development, build an open source technical community, coordinate cooperative collection development efforts and establish best practices. Our overarching goal is to eliminate ourselves as a single point of failure, the bane of any long-term digital preservation effort.