Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Deep into that darkness peering: Our Dark Repository

Deep into that darkness peering: Our Dark Repository.  Lance Thomas Stuchell. Bits and Pieces. October 22, 2018.
     This is an interesting post about their dark archive and how it is being used. Their definition of a Dark Archive is: An archive that is inaccessible to the public. It is typically used for the preservation of content that is accessible elsewhere. For them, the “preservation of content that is accessible elsewhere” line is an important one. "Before we created a dark archive, all of our preservation systems were built for access, with many of them creating access copies (or DIPs, for all you OAIS groupies out there) on the fly from the preservation copy (AIPs) in the repository."

These systems worked for most of their digital material, but not for time-based digital media, such as video files, since they were too big to serve as access copies or be the source of on-the-fly access copy creation. The dark archive allows them to separate access from storage, and provides a place to preserve A/V preservation masters long-term.  Their  "Dark Blue" repository "provides long-term storage for A/V preservation masters and medium-term storage for forensic images/file transfers of born-digital archival accessions" and may be expanded in the future for data backups, perpetual access copies of licensed content, backups of video games, and web archives.

The dark archive workflow relies on other systems for metadata management and searchability, such as the catalog and ArchivesSpace. "We will continue to evaluate our storage strategy as the diversity and size of our digital collections grow, but right now Dark Blue fills an important void in our preservation strategy."