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Digital Preservation System at Yale University Library: Home

This page provides information about the Digital Preservation System managed by the Digital Preservation unit of Yale University Library.


Welcome! This guide contains information about the Digital Preservation System of Yale University Library.

Topics included in this guide include the functions of the Digital Preservation System, where to go for training, as well as questions and documentation, and an overview of the system architecture and configuration.

More detailed information about the DPS is available at the Department Sharepoint site of the Digital Preservation Services Unit. Please contact with any questions or for further information.

Why Preservica?

In 2015, after an extensive requirements-gathering and evaluation process, Yale University Library selected the Preservica Digital Preservation System for managing long-term preservation of born-digital and digitized content from units across Yale University Libraries and Museums.

The Preservica system was chosen because it meets essential criteria identified within the interviews and internal documentation reviews comprising the requirements-gathering process. The list of requirements that guided the selection process may be consulted in the System Requirements Document. In addition to fulfilling the selection criteria, the overall cost of the DPS system and infrastructure offered a viable financial model for long-term sustainability, while meeting the immediate need for completing a rapid ingest of the enormous volume of digital content at YUL into a stable preservation environment for long-term management.

DPS Functional Areas
The Preservica system is built on the OAIS model, which defines broad areas of action that are necessary for the support of preservation activities over the long term:

  • ingest
  • access
  • preservation
  • data management
  • administration

DPS Components and Processes

Preservica’s system provides a unified framework for organizing digital preservation microservices and software into organized workflows that follow best practices and preservation standards to support a wide range of content.

  • identify, extract, and monitor technical attributes of digital content, including file formats and software dependencies
  • provide automated checking of integrity and validity across a wide range of file formats via an integrated registry to verify content against known specifications
  • allow for assessing and monitoring obsolescence risks
  • enable direct viewing of content across a range of formats via embedded viewers directly within the system
  • perform automated migration actions across identified types of content
  • enable user account management and access control
  • generate in-depth reports on system contents and activities

Guide to Digital Preservation at Yale University Library

What is the Digital Preservation System?

The Digital Preservation System addresses the challenges of scalability and sustainability that are inherent to long-term management of digital content. This system provides a framework for organizing a huge number of discrete steps and software processes into modular automated workflows around functional areas of ingest, access, data management, preservation activities, and administration.

DPS Instances: Production, Test, and Dev

The YUL Digital Preservation System encompasses three separate instances that are each configured individually, which allows for a separation of environments for testing interface options and system processes before implementation in the Production instance.

Links to each instance are provided below. Access to the system is currently restricted to users representing units within Yale University Libraries and Museums who have user accounts configured for working with content from their units. If you would like to find out about setting up a user account for ingesting content for your department, please contact:

Related Links within Yale University Library

Check out these Guides for Related Library services within Yale University Library.

The Born Digital @ Yale Guide, created and maintained by the Yale Born Digital Archives Working Group, contains news and resources pertaining to born-digital archival collections in Yale’s libraries and museums.

Within the Born Digital @ Yale guide, pages pertaining to the Digital Accessioning Support Service provide information about the capture of born-digital archival content from special collections across Yale libraries and museums.

The Digital Accessioning Support Service began in the spring of 2016, and works on transferring content from physical media to stable long-term storage, such as within the digital preservation system.  

The di Bonaventura Family Digital Archaeology and Preservation Lab supports the technological needs of digital material from general and special collections across Yale University Libraries and Museums.

Lab equipment includes machines for accessioning digital content, and vintage machines to support work pertaining to a range of approaches to accessing outdated digital content: including migration, emulation, and last-resort retrieval.