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Dartmouth College Library chooses cloud-hosted active digital preservation software



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The Dartmouth College Library in Hanover, New Hampshire, has chosen Preservica’s cloud-hosted active digital preservation software to protect and provide greater online access to the heritage and institutional assets of the college.

The Dartmouth College Library is focused on supporting and enhancing new modes of scholarship and research innovation at Dartmouth. In order to do this effectively, the library regularly deploys and develops tools and services for the creation, dissemination, discovery, and preservation of Dartmouth research and collections. The selection of Preservica was the culmination of an extensive review process in which a cross-departmental team was tasked with the creation of an infrastructure to manage, preserve, and insure reliable and easy access to born-digital and digitized materials.

The Dartmouth Library must ensure that its “born-digital and digitized collections” are discoverable, accessible, and secure, said Daniel Chamberlain, associate librarian for digital strategies at Dartmouth.  Preservica will enable the library to consolidate its collections into a single secure platform through which they will be safely stored and preserved to ensure access by future generations of scholars, Chamberlain noted.

The first stage of the digital preservation project will focus on digital materials held by Dartmouth’s Rauner Special Collections Library, home to more than 100,000 rare books, over six and a half million unique items from cuneiform tablets to manuscripts, oral histories such as Vietnam War testimonials from Dartmouth alumni, and extensive Dartmouth College archives that include the history of the college and the surrounding area from its founding in 1769 to the present day. Over the past 20 years, the library has also been acquiring an increasing volume of digitized and born-digital materials.

Digital assets have been stored on obsolete media such as floppy disks, as well as more recent formats that are becoming out-dated such as CDs, DVDs, flash drives, and PC hard disks. The library identified nearly 1,500 media devices, each of which contains thousands of digital files.

In addition to preserving its unique collections, the library is also committed to making its collections discoverable and viewable online for students, researchers, staff, and the public.

After creating a detail specification on its digital preservation needs, Dartmouth chose Preservica as the system that most closely aligned with its goals. It was particularly important that Preservica brings preservation and access together in one application; synchronizes with ArchivesSpace, a web-based archives information management system, to integrate the metadata for the library’s physical and digital holdings; and enables the library to perform the traditional archival tasks of arrangement and description in a digital environment.