Can a Consortium Build a Viable Preservation Repository?

Suzanne E. Thorin
Program Director, Academic Preservation Trust
University of Virginia

Bradley Daigle
Director, Digital Curation Services; APTrust Content Lead
University of Virginia

Stephen Davis
Director, Columbia Libraries Digital Program
Columbia University

Linda Newman
Head, Digital Collections and Repositories
University of Cincinnati

Scott Turnbull
Senior Software and Systems Administrator; APTrust Technology Lead
University of Virginia


The Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust), a consortium of 16 institutions, was formed two and a half years ago when a small group of academic library deans agreed to take a community approach in building and managing a repository that would provide long-term preservation of the scholarly record. The repository also aims to aggregate content, to provide for disaster recovery, to leverage economies of scale, and to explore access and other services. From its beginning, APTrust has been a layered collaboration of deans, technology experts, content/preservation specialists, and a small APTrust staff located at the University of Virginia. The growth of the consortium has been bumpy at times, with differences of opinion regarding technology decisions and, inside the University of Virginia (UVA), in building awareness that an entrepreneurial program requires quick responses from the infrastructure. APTrust remains repository and format agnostic by using the Baglt specification for content submission. Metadata is managed by Fedora with pointers to content preserved in Amazon S3 and Glacier with administrative functions built using Hydra and Blacklight. The repository is scheduled to go live in June and will become a Digital Preservation Network (DPN) node. A panel of APTrust partners and UVA staff will describe the interplay in decision making among deans, technologists, and content experts and will discuss the evolving nature of an effort that is approaching full production, including questions of governance, business modeling, certification goals and the consortium’s evolving approach to the complex issues related to digital preservation.



Last updated:  Wednesday, March 26th, 2014