July 14, 2009 Library of Congress and DuraCloud Launch Pilot Program Using Cloud Technologies to Test Perpetual Access to Digital Content

Service is Part of National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program

Contact: Erin Allen, Library of Congress (202) 707-7302 | Carol Minton Morris, DuraSpace, carol@duraspace.org

How long is long enough for our collective national digital heritage to be available and accessible? The Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and DuraSpace have announced that they will launch a one-year pilot program to test the use of cloud technologies to enable perpetual access to digital content. The pilot will focus on a new cloud-based service, DuraCloud, developed and hosted by the DuraSpace organization. Among the NDIIPP partners participating in the DuraCloud pilot program are the New York Public Library and the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Cloud technologies use remote computers to provide local services through the Internet. Duracloud will let an institution provide data storage and access without having to maintain its own dedicated technical infrastructure.

For NDIIPP partners, it is not enough to preserve digital materials without also having strategies in place to make that content accessible. NDIIPP is concerned with many types of digital content, including geospatial, audiovisual, images and text. The NDIIPP partners will focus on deploying access-oriented services that make it easier to share important cultural, historical and scientific materials with the world. To ensure perpetual access, valuable digital materials must be stored in a durable manner. DuraCloud will provide both storage and access services, including content replication and monitoring services that span multiple cloud-storage providers.

Martha Anderson, director of NDIIPP Program Management said “Broad online public access to significant scientific and cultural collections depends on providing the communities who are responsible for curating these materials with affordable access to preservation services. The NDIIPP DuraCloud pilot project with the DuraSpace organization is an opportunity to demonstrate affordable preservation and access solutions for communities of users who need this kind of help.”

The New York Public Library offers a set of scholarly research collections with an intellectual and cultural range that is both global and local. The DuraCloud pilot program at the library will replicate large collections of digital images from a Fedora repository into DuraCloud. The New York Public Library plans to convert the images from the TIFF format to JPEG 2000 and to serve these images using a powerful JPEG 2000 image engine within DuraCloud.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library provides access to historical journal literature in biodiversity in collaboration with global partners, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the Woods Hole Marine Biology Lab. Their DuraCloud pilot will focus on replication of digital content to provide protection for valuable biodiversity resources. The pilot will demonstrate bi-directional replication of content among partners in the United States and Europe. The library will use the cloud-computing capabilities offered by DuraCloud to analyze biodiversity texts to extract key information such as species-related words. The institution will also deploy a JPEG2000 image engine via DuraCloud to process and serve digital images.

DuraCloud is a cloud-based service developed and hosted by the nonprofit organization DuraSpace. DuraCloud was developed with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The DuraCloud pilot program is being launched with support from NDIIPP. DuraCloud is aimed at helping institutions and individuals take advantage of cloud technologies in providing access to their digital materials. DuraCloud is focused on providing trusted solutions for organizations such as universities, libraries, cultural heritage organizations, research centers, and others who are concerned with ensuring perpetual access to their digital content.

DuraSpace provides leadership and innovation in open-source technologies for global communities who manage, preserve and provide access to digital content. DuraSpace was established by merging Fedora Commons and the DSpace Foundation, two of the largest providers of open-source repository software worldwide. DuraSpace serves more than 750 institutions that are committed to the use of open-source software solutions for the dissemination and preservation of academic, scientific, and cultural digital assets.

The mission of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program is to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available digital content, especially materials that are created only in digital formats, for current and future generations.


PR 09-140
ISSN 0731-3527