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UC San Diego Library Receives Mellon Grant to Develop Approaches to Preserving Digital Repositories

UC San Diego Library receives $161,000 Mellon Foundation grant to develop new approaches to preserving digital repositories.

A one-year, $161,000 grant from the New York City-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will fund a joint project to support the effective communication and exchange of data between local and national digital preservation repositories. The project — a collaboration between the UC San Diego Library, UC Santa Barbara, Emory University, Northwestern University and DuraSpace — will design tools that will enable libraries and archives to seamlessly deposit content into distributed digital preservation systems (DDPs), update that content over time and reliably restore content if needed.

The design work will leverage Chronopolis, a UC San Diego-led digital preservation platform, to enable digital repository platforms from around the world to simplify the process for creating preservation copies of their data. By addressing a current gap between digital preservation platforms and digital libraries this project will increase the reliability and sustainability of digital archives.

“This groundbreaking initiative will increase sustainability and increase content interoperability,” said Erik Mitchell, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UC San Diego and principal investigator of the grant project. “For institutions large and small, this Mellon grant will create the ability to streamline digital preservation decisions and reduce risk associated with long-term digital preservation.”

This project will tackle the development of a blueprint of best practice recommendations to bridge the gap between digital libraries and preservation platforms. The five partners will complete an architecture overview, technical design and a user-friendly interface design needed to integrate these platforms.

“A real strength of this project is our commitment to working with the open software and open standards communities including Samvera and the Oxford Common File Layout,” said Sibyl Schaefer, digital preservation analyst at the UC San Diego Library and project manager on the grant. “A growing number of institutions share our concern that better tools for management, use and preservation of digital materials are a key component of the 21st-century library. Our goal is to bring additional clarity to the nuanced implications of digital preservation.”


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