The Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust) is committed to the creation and management of a sustainable environment for digital preservation. APTrust’s aggregated repository will help solve one of the greatest challenges facing research libraries and their parent institutions – preventing the permanent loss of scholarship and cultural records being produced today.
APTrust offers new levels of confidence in the preservation of digital content, up to and including permanent deposit in the Digital Preservation Network (DPN) through our systems. From the start, an institution that places digital content in APTrust will be able to use our capabilities to recover that content in the event it is lost from the local institutional environment. Disaster recovery is only the first in a list of services APTrust is already developing or considering, all in collaboration with our member community. Such future services may include format migration, alert systems, access to APTrust-stored content (when that is the desire of the owning institution), and aggregated discovery.
As our member institutions combine their expertise and resources to accomplish a common mission, together they will develop scalable solutions, new functionalities, and enriched services that will be offered broadly through APTrust.
In its quarterly telephone-based meeting on March 19, 2015, the Academic Preservation Trust Governing Board confirmed its mission:
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In a mature and fruitful international partnership, the University of Maryland Libraries, in collaboration with the National Diet Library of Japan, are digitizing, preserving and making accessible books issued during the early years of the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-1949).
The Gordon W. Prange Collection, the most comprehensive archive in the world of Japanese print publications issued during this time period, provides valuable insight into the history of U.S. foreign policy and the U.S.-Japan relationship. It includes approximately 71,000 books.
Housed at the University of Maryland, the collection is vast and comprehensive. It comprises virtually everything published on all subjects during this period and includes books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, news agency photographs, posters, maps, ephemera and related archival materials. Produced by commercial publishers as well as grass-roots organizations such as labor unions, farm cooperatives, literary societies, minority populations, and schools, these publications capture the mood of Japan during a crucial period in the nation’s history.
The need to preserve the collection is increasingly urgent. Books were printed on highly acidic paper of poor quality and are rapidly deteriorating. Many are unique and are no longer extant in Japan. Subjected to censorship by the Allied Forces, the materials are especially valuable to researchers because they bear censorship markings ranging from check-in and examination dates to deletions, suppression and other changes.
Named for the late Gordon W. Prange, a University of Maryland professor and officer in the U.S. Navy who served in Japan and who was instrumental in bringing the materials to Maryland, the collection is a special source of pride for the university. Researchers from around the world value this rich trove of materials.
Digital surrogates produced in a dedicated digitization lab at the University of Maryland will fill a gap in the collection of the National Diet Library for books published in Japan between September 1945 and November 1949. The project is governed by a memorandum of understanding entered into by both parties on May 2, 2005, and is in compliance with U.S. copyright laws.
In October, 2013, President Michael McRobbie announced a comprehensive $15 million Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative aimed at preserving and making accessible in digital form the unique and invaluable collections of video, recorded music and other irreplaceable collections assembled at Indiana University over its nearly 200-year history.
Nearly 600,000 historical and cultural video and audio artifacts are found in IU’s collections. This time-based media contains material from a wide range of areas in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Nearly all of it is difficult to access, and much is at risk of deterioration, having been created and preserved in formats that are now obsolete.
“The goal of MPDI is extremely ambitious,” McRobbie said. “It is, in short, to digitize, preserve and make universally available by IU’s Bicentenary – subject to copyright or other legal restrictions – all of the time-based media objects on all campuses of IU judged important by experts.” Indiana University was founded in 1820.
McRobbie placed the initiative within the context of the ancient mission of the world’s great universities not only to create and disseminate knowledge but also to preserve knowledge. With the dawn of the digital age and the development of the Internet, he said, knowledge ranging from works of art and literature to vast collections of scientific data can be made immediately available to scholars, students, and the public.
The President charged Vice President for Information Technology Brad Wheeler, Vice President for Research Jorge Jose, and University Dean of Libraries Brenda Johnson to work with faculty and other administrators in developing an IU Digitization Master Plan to support research, education and the preservation of knowledge.
Indiana University President Michael McRobbie is also the chair of the Digital Preservation Network board.
The University of Michigan Library has been actively building digital collections since 1995. The library is a pioneer in developing systems for capture and serving digitized information to the public and now preserves millions of items from the holdings of the library and a variety of museum and library collections from across the campus and region.
Other major digital initiatives have been launched by Michigan Publishing and the library’s institutional repository, Deep Blue. Michigan’s partnership with Google to digitally preserve the library’s entire print collection, and more recently the formation of HathiTrust, are transforming how scholars can search, find, and use information.
The library created and maintains the infrastructure and ingest procedures for HathiTrust, a partnership of over 90 institutions, which currently holds more than 11 million digitized volumes that amount to 750 terabytes of data. These pioneering, internationally recognized efforts have established the library’s reputation for innovation and leadership in the digital library realm.