New Partnership for Deep Storage: Taking the Long View for Digital Data

The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) has recently negotiated a deep storage facility with the UK Data Archive (UKDA) as part of its long-term preservation strategy for digital data. Deep storage facilities will greatly enhance the ADS's ability to ensure the secure, long-term preservation of data, and provide a mechanism by which collections can be preserved through all eventualities. The long-established UKDA is one of the the largest digital archiving organizations in the United Kingdom, focussing its collections on economic and social science data sets. This trusted data repository, which was founded in the 1960s, is home to numerous important digital datasets, including data from government and university research studies in the UK and further afield.

The ADS, with its partners in the AHDS, is currently testing this facility before depositing data collections for preservation. Data integrity is ensured through the use of md5sum checksum scripts at both ends of any file transfer operation. The facility also provides easy but controlled access to the ADS technical team for the long-term curation - specifically refreshment and migration - of data deposited there. Once into the UKDA system the data becomes part of a rigorous back- up strategy with multiple copies of data held at multiple sites. This greatly enhances the ADS's own rigorous preservation and back-up regime.

Tony Austin email

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