Working with Dell, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has created a new digital archive for its university system that simplifies how it manages digital assets, including rare books and faculty intellectual property output such as research documents, papers and lectures — content typically produced in multiple digital formats. The new archive reduces storage costs and streamlines the management, retention and protection of scholarly works through a solution based on the Dell DX Object Storage Platform and DuraSpace Open Source Fedora Commons Repository Software. Critical for the university was the ability to meet today’s needs and to scale efficiently over time as digital content evolves and grows.
Explosive data growth and large data sets make it more difficult for libraries, museums and government organizations to efficiently preserve and protect documents, multimedia content and digital assets for future generations. As one of the largest public university libraries in the world, the Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign manages the intellectual property and digital content created by faculty, administrators and students -- from one-of-a-kind, fragile books that can create 600 to 800 image objects once digitized, to retiring professors’ collections of work over a 20- to 25-year tenure.
After considering its digital archive and retention goals, the University of Illinois customized a version of Fedora Repository Software and combined it with the Dell DX Object Storage Platform. The platform automatically replicates an archive master and a working master of each file to simplify data backup, storing one copy on the University’s main library cluster and a second copy in its engineering library. In the future, a third copy will be archived in the cloud to further simplify data access and sharing across the University system. The Dell DX Platform also produces metadata to manage the archive, identifying files that need to be transitioned from older to newer digital formats for future generations. And the DX Object Storage Platform’s plug and play framework lets archivists add additional retention capacity to the digital archive as it is needed, simply and efficiently.
QuotesJohn Mullen, Vice President, Education and State & Local Government, Dell “With the transition from stacks and the Dewey Decimal system to bytes, clusters and metadata, academic libraries need a digital archiving strategy that addresses their immediate and future needs. The University of Illinois’ innovative and open approach to this challenge is a practical model for any university.”
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