E-ARK Partners

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Scope: Integration between a live document management system and digital archiving and preservation service

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The life cycle of a record that needs to be archived usually falls into three phases:

(1) When the metadata and data are ‘live’ (being used and modified regularly).

(2) When the metadata and data are archived for a short period (up to 5 years).

(3) When the metadata and data are moved to a long-term repository for permanent conservation.

The aim of this pilot was to assess the efficacy of the E-ARK Information Package Specification. This defines how metadata and data should be packaged in order to move records between these phases. The pilot worked on a way to ensure that no relevant data or metadata was lost in the process. To accomplish this, a special integration tool was developed that implements the specification and orchestrates the entire transfer process.

 

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The information package used proved effective in terms of its flexibility and ability to cope with multiple data types. The pilot transferred about 2 TB of data between the archival service and the long-term preservation service. The institution’s archival service is not yet prepared to face the challenges of long-term digital preservation, so the records that were selected for permanent conservation were then transferred to a long-term digital repository (the third phase). The pilot worked with a public institution whose records were initially produced and managed in an electronic records management system (ERMS). These were mandated to be archived after their “live” phase and the first part of the pilot focussed on the assessment of the adequacy of the Information Package structure and the efficiency of the integration tool in handling the data and metadata (and supporting documentation) as it moved from the original system to the institution’s own internal archival service (the second phase).

The pilot also examined the earlier stages of the transfer of data and information and tested the E-ARK tools in that phase.

 

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