October 16, 2013
Sixteen Academic Preservation Trust institutional partners – 54 people in total — met on October 8th at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to welcome new members, to receive reports on the progress of building a communal preservation repository, and to make strides in developing governance, identifying content, and creating cost models, work flows, specifications, and a timeline.
At the end of the day, members agreed to make plans to seek TRAC certification and to concentrate on preservation strategies, keeping access services to consider at a later date. Pat Steele, Chair, APTrust Board, welcomed the University of Chicago, University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, Indiana University, University of Miami, and Virginia Tech University as new partners and recognized the deans and staff attending the conference.
Scott Turnbull, APTrust lead engineer, gave an overview of technology achievements since the last meeting and provided a timeline for implementation in 2014. Before the fall meeting, members were asked to submit their “top ten” collections for deposit in the repository. Greg Raschke (NC State) and Bradley Daigle (UVa) presented an analysis of the collection content as well as the formats selected.
Following a discussion, Greg Jansen (UNC-Chapel Hill) provided an AP Trust Tech Landscape development. Greg Raschke reported that over the summer the content group focused on two areas. First, they answered questions from the technical group to enable development of version 1.0 functional requirements for content deposit and basic preservation. Second, another group focused on longer-term considerations, issues, and costs associated with potential trusted digital repository and TRAC certification. For the fall, the content group and liaisons are emphasizing working with APTrust staff to submit initial batches of test content from each member institution, to assess that initial process, and to provide feedback.
The afternoon was devoted to breakout sessions for three groups: the deans, the content and the technology groups, and finally a joint session for the content and technology groups. The Deans moved from having a governance advisory group to a board and approving the first governance document. Chair Pat Steele will be working with Matthew Dames (Syracuse) to develop By-laws. The deans determined that formal audit and certification will be critical to obtain as soon as feasible. The newly named Content and Certification Advisory Group was charged to develop criteria and a timeline. Martha Sites (UVa) presented documentation of a preliminary cost model based on possible preservation costs. The deans charged APTrust staff with fully developing a business model for the operational stage. Finally, the deans agreed that APTrust should consider additional members if an institution is interested in actively participating in development; at the operational stage APTrust will have another category of membership whereby an institution will pay for preservation storage but not be involved in development. The technology group discussed BagIt specifications, how to transfer bags to APTrust, fixity management, encryption, scalability, and how to handle specific repository structures. The content group followed up on the “Top Ten” discussion held earlier that morning and also discussed how to develop the necessary workflows at their institutions. Because the two groups overlap and need to know what each one is doing, the last half hour was spent in joint discussion, including how to identify “tombstone” items for DPN. Each group reported out to everyone during the final hour. The deans had commissioned an APTrust elevator speech so that they could explain what APTrust is to colleagues and various administrators. A live (and lively) enactment was the grand finale with Jim Neal (Columbia) taking the part of a dean and Suzanne Thorin (APTrust) a doubting administrator. Special thanks to Winston Tabb for his hospitality and to Liz Mengel, who handled all the local arrangements so beautifully. APTrust institutional members agreed to meet just prior to the next ARL meeting, and more information will follow as to time and place.