[Irtalk] Fwd: [dspace-community] ALL ABOUT the Digital Preservation Network (DPN)

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Thu Dec 10 15:14:09 SAST 2015


*Hilton Gibson*
Stellenbosch University Library

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Carol Minton Morris <cmmorris at duraspace.org>
Date: 10 December 2015 at 14:53
Subject: [dspace-community] ALL ABOUT the Digital Preservation Network (DPN)
To: DSpace Community <dspace-community at googlegroups.com>


Dec. 10, 2016
Read it online: http://bit.ly/1NW3peY
Contact: Mary Molinaro <mary at dpn.org>

*The Digital Preservation Network (DPN) Explained*
*The DPN digital preservation service guarantees academic institutions that
their scholarly resources will survive into the “far-future”.*

*Ann Arbor, MI*  The Digital Preservation Network (DPN) <http://dpn.org/> is
the only large-scale digital preservation service that is built to last
beyond the life spans of individuals, technological systems, and
organizations. Like insurance, the DPN service provides members of the
academy and their successors with a guarantee that future access to their
scholarly resources will be available in the event of any type of change in
administrative or physical institutional environments. By establishing a
redundant and varied technical and legal infrastructure at multiple
administrative levels the survival, ownership and management of preserved
digital content in the future is assured for Digital Preservation Network

The Digital Preservation Network (DPN) service is a planned scholarly “dark
archive”. That means that the content stored in DPN is not actively used or
accessed, but can be made available for use at any time from multiple
digital storage facilities. It is analogous to group long term insurance
for academic scholarship that institutions invest in collectively to do
what they could not do individually.

*Insurance for scholarship*

Why should anyone care about what a scholar one hundred years from now will
be able to learn about what people knew, how they came about that knowledge
or why they acted on it back in 2015, 1815 or 1215–especially because the
Internet now provides instant answers to almost everything.  We should all
continue to focus on the present while losing sleep about the future, right?

Not necessarily.

There is a well-known saying attributed to George Santayana about history
repeating itself ('Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to
repeat it.'). While it sometimes seems that our political leaders do not
learn from history, it would be an even greater tragedy if history were to
be completely unavailable as a guidepost to the future. What if the born
digital scientific discoveries and associated data of 2015 are lost? Will
future generations be doomed to step backwards to replicate past
experiments thereby jeopardizing future progress towards solving pressing
environmental and societal problems? What if our grandchildren and great
grandchildren never find out who we were and what our lives were like by
being able to listen to our music, view our films, or see our photographs?
What if a future student’s research for the traditional fifth grade report
on local history is confined to what was indexed for the last five years in

*What could happen*

The future is uncertain. Academic institutions require that key aspects of
their scholarly histories, heritage and research remain part of the record
of human endeavor in spite of, or perhaps because of whatever will happen
next. As an emblematic part of institutional identity, the potential loss
of core online academic collections that are part of what an institution
means could be catastrophic. Oral history collections, born digital
artworks, historic journals, theses, dissertations, media and fragile
digitizations of ancient documents and antiquities are examples of these
kinds of irreplaceable resources.  What happens if a strategic
institutional collection is lost? Will an institution be forced to struggle
for survival? Do people lose jobs? Will a critical building block of
knowledge be lost forever?

The following are examples of ongoing types of events or situations that
threaten the security of digital collections:

• A major weather event wipes out all digital files kept locally at a
university library data center.

• Political instability forces the closure of an academic institution and
associated online systems.

• Proprietary digital asset management software owned and operated by a
for-profit company for an academic library malfunctions causing the loss of
large tracts of strategic data.

• A collection curator retrieves selected files only to notice that their
digital content has degraded over time.

• The unintended loss of taxpayer-funded research data cripples current
scientific advancement and discredits a major government agency because the
historic data cannot be replicated.

• Hackers break into a university data center and damage online digital

• A budget crisis forces an administrative shift leaving large amounts of
digital scholarly content without a home.

• A reorganization of academic departments puts related historic scholarly
resources in jeopardy.

• Personnel in charge of curation and management of key institutional
research change positions or pass away.

If we lose what we know today we will have nothing to build on for
tomorrow. Digital preservation of scholarly resources in DPN is like having
a climate controlled seed bank where the carefully saved seeds of
scholarship are stored to be brought to life far into the future. We don’t
know what the far future of learning will be like, but we can plan now to
make the raw materials of knowledge permanently accessible.

By participating with DPN and depositing content into the system DPN member
institutions are securing their most important and most at risk content for
the future. The collections initially being deposited into DPN include
cultural heritage materials, archival collections, and research data.

Current DPN members will begin adding digital assets to the Digital
Preservation Network through DuraCloud Vault, a cooperative development
between DPN, DuraSpace and Chronopolis which will serve as the primary
ingest point beginning in January. APTrust is currently processing content
from its members and will deposit into the DPN federation in early 2016.
View an introductory video about how DPN deposit in DuraCloud Vault
operates here: https://youtu.be/_E8g774b6us.

For questions and more information please contact DPN Chief Operating
Officer and Service Manager Mary Molinaro at <mary at dpn.org>.

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