TDL developing preservation-related DSpace plugin

conceptual image of secured dataThe Texas Digital Library software development team began a multiple-week series of development sprints in March devoted to the TDL Preservation Network. The goal of the current effort is to create the means for local repository managers to select content from their DSpace repositories to be sent to PresNet and to retrieve their content from PresNet in a DSpace-ready format.

The TDL Preservation Network stores digital assets in a dark archive at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. In the current iteration of the PresNet, all TDL-hosted data is sent to the network, which replicates the assets at TACC’s geographically dispersed partner data centers. The DSpace plugin under development would give local repository managers control over how to use their PresNet allocations and implement their own preservation policies.

“Preservation isn’t free either in financial or staffing terms,” said TDL chief technology officer Peter Nürnberg, “So preservationists need to be able to make decisions about what materials ought to be preserved long-term and what materials don’t require it.”

The TDL team is led by developer Joe Devries. A team from the Digital Initiatives group at the Texas A&M Libraries is providing direction on the desired functionality for the DSpace preservation interface. That team includes TDL co-director John Leggett and Head of Digital Services and Scholarly Communication Holly Mercer.

During the first sprint of the series, which concluded March 17, the team built a DSpace interface for nominating content for preservation. Content can be selected at the Community, Collection, or item level.

The TDL team previously developed a web interface for selecting content for harvest to PresNet, and that interface can still be used for non-DSpace preservation. However, by building a PresNet interface within DSpace, the TDL hopes to match the existing work processes of the repository managers at its member institutions.

“The DSpace plugin lets people interact with PresNet in terms they are familiar with,” said Nürnberg. “And it means they don’t have to switch tools to do preservation.”

Development on the DSpace preservation plugin will continue for several weeks. No deployment timeline has been developed for moving the new functionality to production DSpace installations.

Posted in Preservation Network, TDL development
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