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Digital Archive : Overview


The importance of preserving master files grows as your digital collections grow. The digital collection manager needs a workflow for capturing and managing master files that fits in with the acquisition of both digitized and born-digital content while not outpacing the capability to manage these large files.
The Digital Archive provides a cost-effective, managed storage environment for digital master files that fits in with the primary workflows for acquiring digital content.

Secure, managed storage

The Digital Archive is a specially designed system in a controlled operating environment dedicated to the ongoing managed storage of digital content.

We have geared the systems processes and procedures specifically for the Digital Archive to support the long-term management of data.

  • Systems management. The Digital Archive exists in a managed systems environment. Many of the tasks that your staff would perform if you kept physical copies of your master files are automated and many others are regular procedures. For example, OCLC monitors the lifecycle of the disk storage devices and regularly replaces them. As content is migrated to new devices, we ensure the integrity of each file being migrated.
  • Physical security. The Digital Archive system is in OCLC's limited-access operations facility secured by a badge reader system and monitored 24x7 by systems operators, security guards and CCTV cameras.
  • Data security. OCLC employs a dedicated information security team. The team is part of the review process for applications, systems and procedures.
  • Data backups. Content in the Digital Archive is backed up using industry standard procedures. At any point in time there are six (6) copies of the content of the Digital Archive at offsite facilities and one copy onsite. Short-term data loss (less than 24 hours) is minimized by utilizing redundant, self-healing storage devices.
  • Disaster recovery. OCLC's facilities and systems are protected from minor outages with uninterruptable power supplies, fire suppression systems and redundant servers and network feeds. OCLC has specific recovery procedures for the Digital Archive system in the event of a major disaster.
  • ISO 9001 Certification. OCLC Dublin, Ohio has met ISO 9001 quality standards and has received registration. OCLC's registration is to ISO 9001, the International Standard for Quality Systems. OCLC's registration covers its processes and systems for quality assurance in design, development, operation and support of automated library services.

Automated monitoring and reports

From the time your content arrives our systems begin inspecting it to ensure that what you sent us is what you'll get back in the future.

On the day your content is ingested to the Digital Archive our systems perform the following quality checks:

  • Manifest verification. Ensure that the files you sent us match what's listed in the shipping manifest. No more, no less. We'll notify you of any anomalies we find.
  • Virus check. Check each file we receive for viruses using industry standard security software.
  • Fixity check. Create a 'fingerprint' for each file copied to the Digital Archive.  Each file is scanned and a unique "fixity key" is created for the file. If anything is altered within the file, a subsequent fixity scan will generate a different key so we and you will know if there's been a change.
  • Format verification. Verify that the file is the format indicated by its file extension (e.g. .tif file extension for TIFF format files).

Once OCLC's systems have gathered this information, we add it to the health record we keep for each file in the Digital Archive.

Our automated systems revisit the Virus check, Fixity check and Format verification periodically so you get up to date reports on the health of your collection. We provide monthly updated reports for all your collections on your personal archive report portal.

Simple, straightforward workflows

The Digital Archive is a service providing a cost-effective, managed storage environment for digital master files that fits in with the primary workflows for acquiring digital content.

  • For users of CONTENTdm (either hosted or direct), the Digital Archive is an optional capability integrated with the various workflows for building collections. Master files are secured for ingest to the Archive using the CONTENTdm Acquisition Station, the Connexion digital import capability, and CONTENTdm Web Harvesting.
  • For users of other content management systems, the Digital Archive provides a low-overhead mechanism for safely storing master files.