APTrust is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to providing both a preservation repository for digital content and collaboratively developed services related to that content.
What is APTrust
The APTrust service accepts digital materials in all formats from member institutions and provides redundant storage in the cloud. It is managed and operated by the University of Virginia. The APTrust consortium leverages the expertise of its members to identify and articulate needs for the digital content environment, to prioritize service development, and to collaboratively build solutions. This approach generates economies of scale and increases value for all members.
The preservation storage and computing services behind APTrust are provided currently by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Operating those services and any others we add in the future in an environmentally responsible way is a goal of the APTrust consortium. Achieving progress toward that goal is a complicated challenge for which we invite our membership and the larger community to give us ongoing advice.
APTrust accepts all types of digital content from its member institutions, including but not limited to print, audio, video, and encrypted files. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform provides APTrust with unlimited capacity that usually generates costs only as it is needed or used. A portion of the APTrust annual membership dues covers preservation of the first 10 terabytes of content per member, and members may purchase additional capacity based on current costs. Those core service costs provide for three preservation copies of content in separate S3 availability zones in the AWS data center in Virginia and three preservation copies of content in separate Glacier availability zones in AWS’s Oregon data center. APTrust conducts its own fixity checks on deposited content every three months.
The APTrust service also has a standard-Glacier-only service with three copies of content in separate availability zones in the AWS data center of the depositor’s choice. The cost of this service, which represents a lower-assurance preservation component for institutional preservation programs, is $60 per terabyte per year. APTrust also has a Glacier Deep Archive service at a cost of $20 per TB per year, and the consortium is currently developing a Wasabi-based service to add in the 2020-21 academic year.
Member Costs and Expected Contributions
Membership in APTrust is an investment in and a commitment to collaborative solutions to some of the biggest challenges of digital preservation facing research libraries today. Membership dues are $20,000 per year, and they fund a range of consortial activities and forms of engagement in national and international conversations about digital preservation. A portion of the dues covers annual preservation costs of an allocation of digital content (currently 10 TB) for each member.
The consortium holds two meetings per year with no registration fee for any attendee from one of its institutions: the fall meeting with all institutional members and the spring meeting emphasizing its working-group tasks. Members contribute their time throughout the year by participating in working and interest groups, and two representatives selected by the library dean or director of each sustaining-member institution serve on the APTrust Advisory Committee. Major conferences regularly accept presentation proposals from staff of member institutions on their usage of APTrust and related topics.