Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Architecture and Technology for Trusted Digital Repositories

Digital Preservation

Architecture and Technology for Trusted Digital Repositories

Ronald Jantz

Rutgers University Libraries

Michael J. Giarlo

Rutgers University Libraries


abstract: Developing preservation processes for a trusted digital repository will require the integration of new methods, policies, standards, and technologies. Digital repositories should be able to preserve electronic materials for periods at least comparable to existing preservation methods. Modern computing technology in general is barely fifty years old and few of us have seen or used digital objects that are more than ten years old. While traditional preservation practices are comparatively well-developed, lack of experience and lack of consensus raise some questions about how we should proceed with digital-based preservation processes. Can we preserve a digital object for at least one-hundred years? Can we answer questions such as "Is this object the digital original"? or "How old is this digital object"? What does it mean to be a trusted repository of digital materials? A basic premise of this article is that there are many technologies available today that will help us build trust in a digital preservation process and that these technologies can be readily integrated into an operational digital preservation framework.