IMLS-Funded Planning Grant | Mid-Year Project Update 

Texas Digital Library is at the mid-year point on our year-long planning grant project, Preserving Sensitive Data in Distributed Digital Storage Networks,  funded by the  Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Texas Digital Library (TDL), in collaboration with the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Library , is leading the charge to roadmap the first nationally distributed digital preservation service for sensitive data. The project kicked off in September 2019 and has made great strides in the past six months.

Significant milestones are listed below, and you can read more about the project here.


Hesam Andalib, a graduate research assistant from UT Austin’s School of Information, joined the project  in September 2019. Hesam’s project management skills have been critical to the success of this project. 

Hesam Andalib, project GRA, on the UT Austin campus

Since starting last fall, he has worked closely with Courtney Mumma, TDL’s deputy director and co-PI, to develop a project roadmap and breakdown of work. Hesam has also conducted use case interviews, gathered agreements between parties in existing distributed digital preservation networks, and created technical network diagrams. 

Hesam’s visualization of the Chronopolis distributed digital preservation workflow


In December 2019, Texas Digital Library hosted stakeholders and project partners for a day long meeting in the Perry-Castañeda Library at UT Austin. Meeting attendees included representatives from the Texas Advanced Computing Center, the University of North Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas at Austin Libraries, LYRASIS, Northeastern University, Security Metrics, Johns Hopkins University, the San Diego Supercomputing Center, Texas State University, Academic Preservation Trust, UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Benson Collection at UT Austin, the UCSD Library (the project subawardee), and Texas Digital Library.

Project partners and invited stakeholders, Perry Castañeda Library, Dec 6, 2019

Project Leads Courtney Mumma, Sibyl Schaefer, and Kristi Park welcomed the attendees, and the meeting began with an overview of the problem the project seeks to address, the project team’s  methodologies, and a discussion of potential outcomes. Participants then broke into small groups to discuss use cases in which various types of private and sensitive content should be preserved in a distributed network as well as any perceived barriers to doing so.  

Partners of the Preserving Sensitive Data in Distributed Digital Storage Networks project

Each group reported out afterward, and participants  summarized, sorted, and prioritized the findings. The group then reviewed where and what kind of agreements are in place for existing DDP networks (including for Chronopolis, TDL Digital Preservation Services, APTrust, and DuraCloud). During the last part of the day, participants worked in small groups again to outline components of a service model, including technical Infrastructure, governance, stakeholder roles and responsibilities, and potential cost models.

You can read the meeting agenda and access slides here


The Preserving Sensitive Data in Distributed Digital Storage Networks project continues through August 2020. Next steps include the following:

  • Hesam Andalib will complete his exploration of current and future technical, service and cost models.
  • Courtney Mumma, TDL’s deputy director and co-PI, will work closely with data security and compliance firm SecurityMetrics to determine changes to current documentation and networks that would facilitate DDP for private and sensitive data. 
  • The team will disseminate project findings starting in Spring 2020. Join us at TCDL for a preview.

The final report will be shared with the TDL community next fall. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments please contact Texas Digital Library at

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant # LG-34-19-0055.

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