The Development of a Standard for Digital Repository Certification Bruce Ambacher

The Development of a Standard
for Digital Repository Certification
Bruce Ambacher
National Archives and Records
Mission: Preserve digital
• Problem: ensuring digital information is
accessible, usable, preserved
• Problem: Digital repositories claim to be
• Problem: No valid measure to apply
The Sponsors: NARA
• First national archives to preserve digital
archives (April 1970)
• Largest collection of archival digital
• Electronic Records Archives – multi-year,
multi-Exabyte digital repository,
operational in 2007
• Concern for content, context, authenticity
The Sponsors: RLG
• Preserving Digital Information (1996) with
the Commission on Preservation and
• Trusted Digital Repositories (2002)
• 30 years of standards and best practices
in access and preservation
The Working Group
• RLG, NARA, national libraries of U.S.,
Netherlands, & France, NASA, OCLC,
Internet Archives, Harvard, Stanford,,
Cornell, University of London, Digital
Preservation Coalition, Rutherford
Appleton Laboratories
Project Goal
• Devise a methodology to identify digital
repositories capable of reliably storing,
migrating, and providing access to digital
collections, capable of winning our trust in their
capacity and ability to preserve digital
• Produce certification requirements
• Delineate a process for certification
• Identify a certifying body to implement process
Methodology Used to Date
• Review recent literature
• Review and address certification options
from other disciplines
• Identify a list of certifiable elements
• Create a standard certification process or
Draft Checklist - Organization
Governance and Organizational Viability
Organizational structure and staffing
Procedural accountability and policy
Financial stability
Contracts, licenses, liabilities
Draft Checklist – Archival Functions
• Ingesting Submission Information
Packages (SIP)
• Transforming SIPs to Archival Information
Packages (AIP)
• Archival Storage
• Preservation Planning
• Data Migration
Typical Questions
• B2.7 Repository provides an independent
mechanism for audit of the integrity of the
repository collection/content
• B3.1 Repository has documented
preservation strategies
• B3.2 Repository implements/responds to
strategies for AIP storage and migration
• B3.7 Repository actively monitors AIP
Draft Checklist – Designated
• Repository has in place procedures to
specify a Designated Community
• Repository has in place procedures to
monitor changes in Designated
• Repository meets changing technology
needs of Designated Community
Draft Checklist - Technologies
Archival Storage and its infrastructure
System infrastructure
System security
Disaster planning
Unresolved Issues
• Do best practices vary by domain?
• What attributes will be certified?
• Is an official certifying body needed? If so
who will designate this body? How will
people be qualified as certifiers?
• What role will repositories play in
developing/revising the certification
Current Status
• 09/30/05 – 01/15/06 Public Review of draft
Audit Checklist for the Certification of
Trusted Digital Repositories
• 09/30/05 – 01/15/06 Field testing of draft
• 01/15/06 Review of comments and field
test results and revision of Audit Checklist
• Standardization through ISO Archiving
• Identify certifying body or bodies
• Identify a timetable for execution &
• Identify frequency or cycle of certification
• Define the conditions for revocation
• Create technical models
• Create economic models for sustainablility
• Create implementation scenarios