Copying Archives

Preserving digital content forever

Common Format  

The Copying Archives (CopyArch) project is about developing a mechanism to interconnect various digital data storage systems, through the use of plug-ins and a common interchange package, thereby enabling preservation, replication and migration of content. Digital systems to be considered are DSpace and LOCKSS . DSpace is primarily repository system, and LOCKSS is a preservation system. Having a way to interconnect these would make it possible for institutions to take advantage of the different capabilities that each of the systems offers with little management overhead. The interconnection of the digital systems improves the potential to preserve digital content like electronic theses and journals.


Using a common interface, it should be possible for an archive: to connect into a LOCKSS network for preservation; to transfer its contents to another archive or to offline storage; or to reload from LOCKSS when catastrophe strikes. A common interchange package was developed using the METS document schema. Plug-ins to ingest and export this common format into the systems were developed. The import and export plug-in tools were built on the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) standard. The plug-ins will enable the updating of digital systems remotely and locally. The plug-ins will also be a means to export digital content to the common package.

Using these techniques, it should be possible to safeguard locally produced content (academic, heritage, etc.) against accidental loss, and, further, prove that the content is indeed safe.