News & Events

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The Board of Academic Preservation Trust is pleased to announce the election of two new Board members: Sarah Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Tyler Walters, Dean of University Libraries at Virginia Tech.  Sarah will succeed Judi Nadler (University of Chicago) on July 1, 2014 and Tyler will begin his term on January 1, 2015 when Pat Steele steps down from the Board.  Below are pictures and biographies of Sarah and Tyler.

Michalak photoSarah C. Michalak is Associate Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian. Sarah came to the University of North Carolina from the University of Utah, where she served as director of the J. Willard Marriott Library for nine years. She has also worked at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Washington. Michalak served two terms on the ARL Board of Directors and as chair of the ARL Public Policies Steering Committee. She is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Research Libraries. Two of her favorite projects were serving as the librarian lead on construction of the Allen Library at UW and hosting the North Carolina Literary Festival.



Tyler Walters is the Dean, University Libraries and Professor, Virginia Tech. He is the co-chair of the AAU / APLU / ARL SHARE Steering Group, which is working toward networking U.S. institutional repository efforts nationally and internationally. Walters also serves on many professional bodies such as the steering committee, Coalition of Networked Information (CNI), Board of Directors, DuraSpace; Board of Directors, National Information Standards Organization (NISO); program committee, International Digital Curation Conference; and editorial board, International Journal of Digital Curation. Walters is a founding member of the MetaArchive Cooperative, a digital preservation federation, and serves on the board of its management organization, the Educopia Institute. He teaches a graduate course in the University of Arizona’s Digital Information Management program. Walters was the original principal investigator on the IMLS-funded GALILEO Knowledge Repository project, Georgia’s statewide repository service. He is the lead author of the 2011 ARL report, “New Roles for New Times: Digital Curation for Preservation” ( and recently completed a Ph.D. from Simmons College, Boston. His research focuses on changes in knowledge creation and production in research universities, organizational change, authentic and transformational leadership, and trust development in multi-institutional organizations involving libraries and archives.


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Eight member institutions have volunteered to test the APTrust administrative content management interface as well as to develop a methodology for creating bags using the BagIt protocol.  The CCAG ingest volunteers are:

  • Columbia University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Miami
  • University of Virginia

A joint meeting of the content and technology groups was held February 6th to discuss shared bagging strategy.  Once that strategy is established, the volunteers will begin ingesting content into APTrust in March and April.  Stay tuned for further developments!

The Content and Certification Advisory Group (CCAG) is charged to study and make recommendations to the Board in the areas of content selection, workflows, metadata, certification, rights management, and what is practical and achievable.  It seeks the advice of the Technology Advisory Group for technology matters that impact content and convenes working groups to achieve aligned goals.

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APTrust is committed to open development and has been posting videos of the latest round of acceptance testing on the APTrust Administrative Interface to the APTrust YouTube channel. The videos feature the week to week state of the application while in development and is how the team accepts or rejects feature requests when team members are distributed across the country.

In case the community would find it interesting to see the process of APTrust being made, we wanted to post these videos publicly in hopes it gives an idea of what the application will look like and how the progress is going on our development. Keep in mind as you view these videos that this is testing of an application as it is being developed, so you’re likely to see bugs or unfinished features but that is the entire point of the testing, to uncover bugs and help the developers understand if we hit the mark at least on our requested features.

Keep an eye on the APTrust Youtube channel for more videos as testing continues but here are the recordings from our first two sessions. A third session should be posted in the following week.

Acceptance Testing 3 Jan 2014

Acceptance Testing 10 Jan 2014

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The next APTrust full membership meeting will take place on Monday, May 5, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel.  More information will follow as we get closer to the date.  May 5 is one day before the Association of Research Libraries meeting.

To get the special rate of $139.00 for your room, you need to make your hotel reservation by April 13, 2014.  Please mention Academic Preservation Trust.

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Greg Raschke sharing information at the Fall 2013 APTrust Partner meetingSixteen Academic Preservation Trust institutional partners – 54 people in total — met on October 8th at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to welcome new members, to receive reports on the progress of building a communal preservation repository, and to make strides in developing governance, identifying content, and creating cost models, work flows, specifications, and a timeline. See the Oct 8 agenda.

At the end of the day, members agreed to make plans to seek TRAC certification and to concentrate on preservation strategies, keeping access services to consider at a later date.

Pat Steele, Chair, APTrust Board, welcomed the University of Chicago, University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, Indiana University, University of Miami, and Virginia Tech University as new partners and recognized the deans and staff attending the conference.

Scott Turnbull, APTrust lead engineer, gave an overview of technology achievements since the last meeting and provided a timeline for implementation in 2014. Scott’s slides are available on this website.

Before the fall meeting, members were asked to submit their “top ten” collections for deposit in the repository. Greg Raschke (NC State) and Bradley Daigle (UVa) presented an analysis of the collection content as well as the formats selected.

Following a discussion, Greg Jansen (UNC-Chapel Hill) provided an AP Trust Tech Landscape development.

Greg Raschke reported that over the summer the content group focused on two areas. First, they answered questions from the technical group to enable development of version 1.0 functional requirements for content deposit and basic preservation. Second, another group focused on longer-term considerations, issues, and costs associated with potential trusted digital repository and TRAC certification. For the fall, the content group and liaisons are emphas

izing working with APTrust staff to submit initial batches of test content from each member institution, to assess that initial process, and to provide feedback.Deans table October 2013

The afternoon was devoted to breakout sessions for three groups: the deans, the content and the technology groups, and finally a joint session for the content and technology groups.

The Deans moved from having a governance advisory group to a board and approving the first governance document. Chair Pat Steele will be working with Matthew Dames (Syracuse) to develop By-laws. The deans determined that formal audit and certification will be critical to obtain as soon as feasible. The newly named Content and Certification Advisory Group was charged to develop criteria and a timeline. Martha Sites (UVa) presented documentation of a preliminary cost model based on possible preservation costs. The deans charged APTrust staff with fully developing a business model for the operational stage. Finally, the deans agreed that APTrust should consider additional members if an institution is interested in actively participating in development; at the operational stage APTrust will have another category of membership whereby an institution will pay for preservation storage but not be involved in development.

The technology group discussed BagIt specifications, how to transfer bags to APTrust, fixity management, encryption, scalability, and how to handle specific repository structures. The content group followed up on the “Top Ten” discussion held earlier that morning and also discussed how to develop the necessary workflows at their institutions. Because the two groups overlap and need to know what each one is doing, the last half hour was spent in joint discussion, including how to identify “tombstone” items for DPN.

LMengel October 2013Each group reported out to everyone during the final hour. The deans had commissioned an APTrust elevator speech so that they could explain what APTrust is to colleagues and various administrators. A live (and lively) enactment was the grand finale with Jim Neal (Columbia) taking the part of a dean and Suzanne Thorin (APTrust) a doubting administrator.

Special thanks to Winston Tabb for his hospitality and to Liz Mengel, who handled all the local arrangements so beautifully. APTrust institutional members agreed to meet just prior to the next ARL meeting, and more information will follow as to time and place.

APTrust October 8 Partner Meeting List-1

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These are the slides from the Technical Update & Demo presentation from the APTrust Partner meeting on Tuesday October 8th.  For questions about this presentation or APTrust Technical development please contact

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Staff from APTrust member institutions are invited to a one-day partner meeting on Tuesday, October 8. We’ll meet at the Charles Commons, Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland. The meeting is for deans, technical staff, and preservation/digital content staff. Working groups will address preservation service development, technical architecture decisions, and governance and cost models. Details are available on the APTrust Community Page.

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Suzanne ThorinWe have concluded our national search for program director for Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust), and I am pleased to announce the appointment of Suzanne Thorin as the first APTrust program director.

Formerly the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian at Syracuse University, Suzanne brings a passion for scalable, sustainable preservation and a deep background in the business operations of research libraries. She is also on the advisory board of APTrust and is committed to our consortium’s success.

Suzanne is presently researching relationships among research libraries and their leadership in the broader academic community, so her new role will allow her to explore those relationships as she engages library leaders in APTrust.

Suzanne’s distinguished career in two major academic libraries and the Library of Congress makes her an ideal fit for what we are trying to achieve with APTrust. Thanks to Suzanne, Syracuse was an early partner as we were starting the organization. She is passionate about creating a sustainable environment for digital preservation and communicating its value to the broader community. Her extensive managerial experience, deep knowledge of the challenges facing research libraries, and belief in the vision for APTrust will energize and accelerate our plans to make APTrust a trusted preservation solution in which institutions will want to invest.

In addition to Syracuse, Suzanne was University Dean of Libraries at Indiana University, held numerous positions at the Library of Congress, and has taught at Syracuse University’s Information School and in the Simmons College doctoral program. She has been a researcher, writer, lecturer and consultant for library transformation and was appointed by President Obama to the National Board of the Institute for Museum and Library Services in 2012.

Suzanne will begin her role as the APTrust’s program director on August 19, 2013. Please join me in congratulating her and welcoming her to this exciting leadership role.

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Join us on Wednesday July 10th at 9:30am for our presentation on APTrust at the Open Repositories 2013 Conference where we’ll present our architecture in more depth and talk about unique aspects of the project aimed at taking advantage of the Fedora 4 architecture.

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Google+Community logo One of the requests made by APTrust partner community at the annual meeting was to find more effective ways for the virtual community to interact.  We’ve launched an APTrust community in Google+ for members to share information, make requests, and stay in touch. You need a Google+ account to join, then go to: and click the join button.  Once you’ve joined, it will show up automatically in your Google+ navigation bar.