Just in the past couple years, the idea of the Digital Preservation Network (DPN) has gained significant ground, bringing together important thinkers with plenty of storage capacity and technical know-how. The DPN leadership, in a 2013 Educause article, touch on important concepts at the heart of digital curation: “At the heart of DPN is a commitment to replicate the data and metadata of research and scholarship across diverse software architectures, organizational structures, geographic regions, and political environments. Replication diversity, combined with succession rights management and vigorous audit and migration strategies, will ensure that future generations have access to today’s discoveries and insights.”1 The system components include an identifier scheme for asserting and tracking the identity of content in the network, an encryption framework, an audit process for ensuring fixity of packages, a reporting infrastructure, individual, distributed repositories and a messaging system between them, and a distributed registry for recording object location. The node-to-node replication transfer uses the BagIt protocol.2
I admit, I really want to share a colorful model and the snappy phrase “emerging digital stack” because it provides yet another view of the components involved in digital preservation, and thus digital curation. Before I share the model, Here also are some brief facts about the development of the DPN so far.
– The Digital Preservation Network (www.dpn.org) architecture plan is drafted.
– The vision: A federated preservation network owned by and for the academy. The focus is on a dark archive for the academic record. DPN is an ecosystem, not a software project. It is designed to evolve with the expected changes in new forms of scholarship, file formats, software, and technology platforms.
– DPN still in “start-up” phase, goal to connect Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust), Chronopolis, HathiTrust, Stanford Digital Repository (SDR), and University of Texas Digital Repository (UTDR).1
– Started a task force on Audio, Video and Film 3
– DPN Inaugural Board Announced
– Inaugural Charter Member Meeting planned for April.
– More than 50 institutional members
– “DPN is actively progressing three important projects that will create a working proof of concept of the core components.The DPN node sub-group is defining the technical architecture for the replicating nodes. The governance sub-group is defining a governance and sustainability model. Thedata partnerships sub-group is completing an environmental scan of research data preservation.”4
The Emerging Digital Stack
The concepts illustrated by the emerging digital stack help bring “greater coherence and interoperability to the digital preservation space.”1 The ecosystem connects many open, flexible standards, and allows data owners to keep control of their data. The repositories chosen have focused on long-term preservation. Through the service components provided, the DPN works towards the development of metadata standards and its preservation, and the development of trustworthiness and integrity of data through its auditing systems.
1 The Case for Building a Digital Preservation Network.http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/case-building-digital-preservation-network
2 Digital Preservation Network Wikihttps://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DPNC/Digital+Preservation+Network
4 Digital Preservation Network Website http://www.dpn.org