Lakehead University Library and Scholars Portal collaborate on hosted digital preservation pilot

  • Posted on: 6 April 2017
  • By: Anika

Scholars Portal and Lakehead University Library are pleased to announce their collaboration on the development of Permafrost, a new preservation service to help protect the unique digital collections held by Ontario’s university libraries and archives. 

Permafrost is a proposed cloud-hosted digital preservation service for members of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). It will provide the preservation processing system Archivematica in conjunction with OCUL’s cloud storage network, the Ontario Library Research Cloud

“Most of the work of today is born digital, and that means that the records we leave behind now, that will be historically significant in the future, are in a digital format,” said Lakehead University Librarian Karen Keiller.
“Participating in Permafrost will help us preserve this history for the next 50 years, and beyond.”
Digital files need special processing and management with an eye towards future access, and files on media such as floppy discs and flash drives age rapidly. Permafrost will help make complex digital preservation activities accessible so that Ontario’s academic memory institutions can preserve their invaluable digital assets into the future.  

Lakehead University Library will participate as a pilot partner site to help Scholars Portal develop the infrastructure and processes needed to support this preservation service across OCUL libraries, including to develop a service model and terms of service for Permafrost, installing Archivematica, and testing the service. 
Lakehead University Library has a number of units holding digital materials requiring long-term preservation, including digitized student theses, oral history interviews, and born digital archival materials from private donors.
The archival collections at Lakehead are a resource for students, faculty, and the public. The Archives acquires, preserves, and facilitates the use of original historical records that document the history of Lakehead University; organizations, individuals, and institutions closely affiliated with Lakehead University; and records that document the history of Northwestern Ontario.
This project will be a significant advance in Lakehead’s capacity to preserve historical material in an electronic format.
The initial phase of the pilot will run until May 2017. A second phase will bring additional institutions online through to November 2017. Once the pilot is complete, the service will be made widely available to Ontario university libraries interested in preserving their digital collections.
Lakehead University Library provides services to over 8600 students on two campuses, including: access to journals and books; access to databases and data sets; research support; and spaces for study and group work. The Archives are on the Thunder Bay Campus as part of the Chancellor Paterson Library, and preserve and provide access to unique historical material.
Permafrost is part of OCUL and Scholars Portal’s commitment to preserving Ontario’s academic collections, both print and digital, for the benefit of current and future generations of scholars.
Further information about Permafrost is available on the Permafrost SPOTdocs space.