Fall 2017 Meeting Highlights

October 16, 2017

Highlights of the Fall 2017 Meeting of the Academic Preservation Trust

From Wednesday, October 4, through Friday, October 6, forty-two collaborators renewed their conversation about common solutions to the challenges of preserving digital scholarly and cultural heritage material at the Fall 2017 meeting of the Academic Preservation Trust.  The meeting began with an informal gathering of deans of APTrust member libraries in Washington, DC on Wednesday, and continued the next two days with sessions at the University of Maryland’s McKeldin Library.

In the informal deans’ gathering, APTrust governing board chair Winston Tabb (Johns Hopkins University) suggested that the time is right for a thorough review of the consortium’s current state to serve as background for reviewing, then updating, its plans for the future.  His suggestion became a key theme in the discussions that followed over the next two days.

The more formal meeting of APTrust began Thursday morning with a provocative talk by University of Virginia Data Science Institute director Phil Bourne on the potential for research libraries to play leading roles in transforming their institutions to become open-data digital enterprises. See his slides here:

Participants then heard reports on the current state of APTrust, including the following highlights:

APTrust Preservation Repository Milestones

APTrust staff also described future services and a process for conducting the Fall 2017 review:\r\n\r\n

After the overview, Tom Blake of the Boston Public Library (BPL), who participated in the discussions throughout the meeting as a guest, described areas of common interest for the Digital Commonwealth consortium (BPL plays a leading role in that consortium) and for APTrust.

APTrust lead developer Andrew Diamond reported that deposits to the preservation repository have accelerated in recent months, with two institutions moving past the 10 terabyte threshold and a third planning to do so soon.

Growth in APTrust Deposits: Spring 2016 – Fall 2017
The totals below do not include the 24 terabytes of DPN data stored at APTrust.

APTrust’s Bradley Daigle led sessions that summarized the work of the consortium’s working groups and interest groups, including the two most active workgroups, on improving communications and on preparing for trusted digital repository status.  Those workgroups have achieved several important milestones, including:

Bradley also led a session focused on enhancement requests for the preservation repository, including such proposals for improvement as:

Regarding the last proposal, Georgetown University’s Salwa Ismail outlined her institution’s interests in a better ticketing system to improve transparency and communication.  The draft roadmap of improvements is explicitly part of the Fall 2017 review, and in final form will be a core component of the future directions the governing board will set as a result of the review.

As the review theme continued through the meeting, participants devoted one session to developing an initial list of the most important questions that it should explore.  The evolving draft of what we intend to be both timely and foundational questions is here:

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