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The goal of the Digital Preservation Policy Framework Task Force is to develop the institutional infrastructure in order to better support IUBL’s focus on preservation of its digital content.


This document delineates an overall strategic vision for digital preservation at Indiana University Bloomington. Building on a survey completed in May 2016, which gathered IUB Libraries (IUL) staff feedback on institutional challenges and strategies, this strategic vision provides measurable goals at an institutional level so that IUL can continue its progress towards long-term sustainability of digital content. This vision is informed by the Libraries’ earlier accomplishments, current capacities and challenges, and the views of staff involved in digital preservation activities throughout the Libraries.

Digital preservation has been an ongoing activity in the Libraries for over twenty years (see History of Digital Preservation at Indiana University for more detail). Although digital preservation efforts were largely project-based in early phases of the Digital Library Program, the Libraries moved to a more service-based development model around 2005 in order to manage its repository infrastructure more strategically. The reasons for this were twofold: first, a cohesive repository infrastructure centralized management and allowed digital curation actions to be carried out across the board; second, developments within the broader communities supporting the technologies utilized at the IU Libraries have been working on shared solutions, so utilizing a centralized infrastructure allows for easier local adoption. While repository services have been unified, priorities for digital preservation have not been defined at the institutional level and the responsibility falls primarily on individual collection owners. Additionally, new challenges such as born digital content and new file formats necessitate a higher degree of flexibility within the IUL repository infrastructure.

Indiana University’s audiovisual preservation activities, and specifically the recent University-level support for mass-scale digitization of A/V content, known as the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI), has been a major driver of growth and development of the IUL digital preservation infrastructure. MDPI led directly to the creation of new staff positions and the development and optimization of repository solutions like HydraDAM2 and Avalon. The creation of 6.5PB of data over only a few years, however, has revealed some of the gaps in the Libraries’ digital preservation infrastructure. For example, while the back-end storage for IUL content is robust and mirrored in two cities in Indiana, IUL content should also be backed up in a storage location outside of IU systems as a security measure.

In the past twenty years, IUL has engaged in groundbreaking digital initiatives, had the advantage of a robust university-level information technology infrastructure, and competed successfully for external funding. Two recent actions taken by the Libraries - the hiring of a Digital Preservation Librarian and the formation of the Digital Preservation Policy Framework Task Force - signal the Libraries' readiness for the additional development needed to achieve its goals, including sustainable funding and dedicated staff for digital preservation.