Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Evaluating Open Source Digital Preservation Systems: A Case Study.

Evaluating Open Source Digital Preservation Systems: A Case Study.  Angela Jordan. Practical E-Records. August 18, 2011.
The University of Illinois Archives has implemented the “Practical E-Records Method,” a project that provides recommendations to help  make digital curation and digital preservation systematic institutional functions.  They tested Archivematica, which is essentially "an Ubuntu (Linux) distribution with extensions to support digital preservation actions using a web-based preservation dashboard."  The test "started with elementary electronic records such as Microsoft Office documents and PDFs, then moved to complicated, larger file types, such as audio-visual objects."  Some parts worked well, but there were a number of errors.  "Given the immediate needs of the University Archives, the developing state of Archivematica, and other digital preservation development work taking place within the University Library, we chose not to incorporate the current version into our electronic records work flow."

 There were three remaining concerns:
  1. smaller institutions may lack the hardware or the technological capability to support the system
  2. the installation process is not user friendly
  3. the software is best run from a dedicated virtual server, to which many institutions may not have access.  Running Archivematica on a dedicated virtual machine requires significant help from IT
The technological ability needed to successfully install and run this system is currently beyond the people who might benefit most. Once some of the issues are worked out in upcoming versions, Archivematica will be useful for smaller institutions that have less IT support than a large research library.

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