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Subject: Publication on digital repositories

Publication on digital repositories

From: Robin Dale <daler>
Date: Friday, March 9, 2007
Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification Checklist is

The Center for Research Libraries and RLG Programs (a unit of the
OCLC Programs and Research division) announce the publication of
Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification: Criteria and

In 2003, RLG and the US National Archives and Records Administration
created a joint task force to address digital repository
certification. The goal of the RLG-NARA Task Force on Digital
Repository Certification was to develop criteria to identify digital
repositories capable of reliably storing, migrating, and providing
access to digital collections. With partial funding from the NARA
Electronic Records Archives Program, the international task force
produced a set of certification criteria applicable to a range of
digital repositories and archives, from academic institutional
preservation repositories to large data archives and from national
libraries to third-party digital archiving services.  Ken Thibodeau,
Director of the ERA Program, points out,

   "We need to foster a context where people can trust information
    from a digital repository as readily as they trust twenty dollar
    bills from an ATM, without looking inside the shell.  The
    Checklist provides milestones repositories can use to earn this

In 2005, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded funding to the
Center for Research Libraries to further establish the documentation
requirements, delineate a process for certification, and establish
appropriate methodologies for determining the soundness and
sustainability of digital repositories.  Under this effort, Robin
Dale (RLG Programs) and Bernard F. Reilly (President, Center for
Research Libraries) created an audit methodology based largely on
the checklist, tested it on several major digital repositories,
including the E-Depot at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in the
Netherlands, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and
Social Research, and Portico.

Findings and methodologies were shared with those of related working
groups in Europe who applied the draft checklist in their own
domains: the Digital Curation Center (U.K.),
DigitalPreservationEurope (Continental Europe) and NESTOR (Germany).
The report incorporates the sum of knowledge and experience, new
ideas, techniques, and tools that resulted from cross-fertilization
between the U.S. and European efforts. It also includes a discussion
of audit and certification criteria and how they can be considered
from an organizational perspective.

With the publication of this report, all related digital repository
audit and certification work is moving to CRL.  According to Bernard

   "At a time when universities and research libraries are being
    called upon to bear the substantial costs of preserving digital
    data and electronic content, the TRAC checklist will help make
    possible the kind of due diligence that the community exercises
    in their other investments of comparable scale.:

This conviction is shared by James Michalko, Vice President, RLG

   "This is a critical time for research institutions tasked with
    providing long-term access to digital information. TRAC will
    help institutions objectively evaluate responsibilities against
    capabilities and identify potential risks to digital content
    held in repositories, archives, and by content providers.  It
    provides the community with a tool to facilitate assessment and
    understanding, and will enable vital collaboration among

The 93-page report is available in PDF from the Center for Research
Libraries <URL:>.

Background on the CRL project can be found at


Background on the RLG-NARA Task Force and its work can be found at


and related OCLC Programs and Research work can be found at


                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:45
                  Distributed: Friday, March 16, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-20-45-016
Received on Friday, 9 March, 2007

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