Organisations are facing growing pressure to store and preserve vast amounts of information. As this information increases exponentially, they are presented with the daunting task of managing these assets. The threat of file obsolescence and bit-rot on storage media, as well as the need to produce a trusted version of an asset further complicate the scenario. A means is needed to collect, validate, manage, and maintain digital assets for future users.
The MINISIS Trusted Digital Repository is both a software and a service offering that can solve this growing need. MINISIS has the advantage of being able to leverage its full-range of archival and cataloging software to provide a complete solution. It serves organisations wishing to not only preserve digital assets but also make them available dynamically: allowing online searches as well as access to digital versions in a format desired by end-users.
Preparation activities usually involve discussions about immediate and long-term TDR priorities such as storage restrictions, preservation formats, and public access. Understanding these requirements helps to establish critical management tasks and settings. At this time it is also helpful to know what additional types of information will be stored alongside the asset as metadata. If the digital collection is to be linked with another cataloguing system, planning for data mapping and customization prior to ingestion ensures a smooth transfer.
When new files are ready for ingestion, they are sent to a queue in the MINISIS TDR’s loading dock. Related digital assets can be set up as a job, allowing them to be assigned a common job number and job title, as well as descriptive metatdata for future discovery and retrieval purposes. Each raw digital asset is processed to identify checksum information, extract technical data, and characterize the asset. Once ingestion is complete, the digital asset is stored with its content, provenance, and preservation metadata — as an Archive Information Package (AIP).
Storage mechanisms for a MINISIS TDR are largely client-specific. Public access and reproduction requirements will help determine the TDR’s storage and connectivity specifications. Customers using the MINISIS TDR as a service can store their AIPs in cloud storage; or they can opt for a dedicated storage appliance when safety is of the utmost importance. Standalone systems at a client site are also a storage option.
Preservation strategies are routinely implemented in a MINISIS TDR and can be managed automatically or manually. Normalization settings identify current file formats that will be converted for preservation, preview, web, and print. As time passes, these settings are updated to convert obsolete file formats to contemporary ones. In addition, obsolescence and fixity help you to effectively manage your long-term asset preservation.
Cataloguing and search fields help to identify and retrieve the assets that are stored in the TDR. Even if digital assets are ingested into the TDR in large batches, information about each asset can be managed individually. These information management features are aligned with Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and Dublin Core standards. By initially using standard cataloguing fields, the assets’ intellectual content can be mapped with data in MINISIS applications and other collection management software. However, the MINISIS TDR can also operate as a standalone cataloguing system.
Many museums, libraries, and archives are mandated to make their collections publicly accessible via digital and online platforms. Web-ready formats of preserved digital images can be linked to Online Public Access Catalogues (OPAC). Print-ready formats can also be generated and stored in the MINISIS TDR. Appropriate role-based security procedures and permissions can be set up to provide internal and external TDR users with safe and secure access to your digital collection.