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How many State Archives have deployed a digital preservation system? What systems are they using?

+2 votes
I am in the process of investigating various digital preservation systems. The system must be OAIS compliant. I am currently investigating Archivematica, Islandora, Preservica, Rosetta and DAITSS. Can anyone recommend another digital preservation system that they are using and familiar with? I would also appreciate feedback on any of the systems I am investigating? Pros and Cons.
asked Jun 5, 2014 by Vinh-Doyle (140 points)
I feel like this question might be too big to get good answers, but there are projects that have compared some of the systems you have mentioned. For instance, Digital POWRR should release a cross-comparison of Archivematica, DuraCloud, Internet Archive, MetaArchive, and Preservica this summer (http://digitalpowrr.niu.edu/tool-grid/). One caveat about these reports is that reports even 4 years old may already be drastically out-of-date with system features.
Note also that it's not really clear what 'OAIS Compliant' means (http://www.iassistdata.org/downloads/iqvol36_2_recker_1.pdf), and in some cases it turns out to be little more that calling the input, archived and output items SIPs AIPs and DIPs.
Islandora is not inherently a digital preservation system.It is more of a digital asset management system and even more literally a "framework" that combines and connects Drupal and Fedora. It would be an "apple" to the "oranges" of Archivematica, Preservica, Rosetta and DAITSS.
Agree - Islandora is apples to oranges comparison. But that said they are working to integrate Islandora with Archivematica on the back end which will make for a pretty powerful offering.
Thanks for the comments regarding Islandora. I was aware of the intergration between Islandora and Archivematica, which is why they are both on my list of potential options.
I just noticed this post, so this reply is a little late, which is better than never :-) Islandora is very much a preservation platform (being based on Fedora), so when it comes to reflecting the OAIS Reference Model, it is very much Apples to Apples. The added advantage of the Islandora system is that it can preserve your digital assets and serve them up (with a variety of derivatives and features) in a rich web interface as well.

5 Answers

+2 votes

It looks like many of the systems you're investigating have integrated storage and access components.  This can really be a pro or a con, depending on where your institution is at.  If you currently have nothing in place, that kind of a system can be a huge boon.  If you already have a storage system in place or an access system/site already in use, you'll need to take care that the systems will play well together.  

You may also want to investigate exit strategies in case you ever decide to go with a homebrew system or a paid product later on.  As a general rule, I'm suspicious of putting everything I have into a system without a clear plan to get it all out anytime I choose (in a useful way, without significant loss of metadata).

UPDATE: I've had the opportunity to attend some CoSA events recently, and it seemed to me like a pretty large number of state and national government archives had purchased Preservica.  That said, I think there are still quite a few other government archives using Archivematica, Rosetta, and Roda.

answered Jun 27, 2014 by sarah.barsness (1,230 points)
edited Nov 6, 2014 by sarah.barsness
0 votes

If someone gives you a number to answer this question I'll be impressed.


In the meantime Archives New Zealand (not a state archive but possibly of similar scale) is using Ex Libris's Rosetta . Also The National Archives (UK) use Tesella/Preservica's Safety Deposit Box/Preservica product (they recently did some rebranding, separated out Preservica as a subsidiary company and rebranded SDB as Preservica Enterprise Edition)


You may also want to investigate the Portuguese RODA product built on Fedora-commons. 

answered Jun 6, 2014 by euanc (3,910 points)
0 votes
The State of North Carolina is currently involved in the pilot of the hosted Archivematica + DuraCloud collaboration, which will go live and be available in Feb/March 2015. Several other states have expressed interest, as well. See more info here: http://duraspace.org/node/2314



Courtney Mumma, MAS/MLIS

US and Int'l Consultant, Artefactual
answered Nov 13, 2014 by Courtney Mumma (260 points)
0 votes
The US states of Vermont, Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin and serveral others that have asked not be be named are already using Preservica now. In the next few months three other states will go live with Preservica.
answered Nov 28, 2014 by Martin Springell (190 points)
0 votes

As answered before me, State Archives using one will be fewer than those that tested, tried or even looked at one to see if there is a fit.

For my part, I have compared, in 2012-2013 the following applications, with relative success in getting most of them to run:

Though I used a somewhat comprehensive framework extended from OAIS to other usability factors, my results are not published, and I seem am running out of time to do so because of other projects.

An essential lesson I learned was that the IT environment in which the system is considered for use is critical in weeding out excellent candidates otherwise that would not  fit. This applies to all these wonderfully crafted solutions in the opensource world that would only work under Linux, under one of its flavors or VMs that won't deliver acceptable performance in production setting.

Most States would have Windows server/desktops and perhaps Linux RedHat servers availanle. If you focus on those installation environments, your report would be useful to most states.

answered Feb 12, 2015 by tibaut.houzanme (780 points)
edited Feb 12, 2015 by tibaut.houzanme