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Hosted Digital Preservation with Permafrost
Friendly interventions for long-term preservation.
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Academic libraries and archives across Ontario are the custodians of a remarkable variety of unique materials that represent the collective memory of their institutions and communities. Increasingly, these materials exist in digital form: either acquired through purchase or donation, or created by the institution itself as university records or as the output of digitization projects. All of these heterogeneous digital objects require robust tools, systems and infrastructure for long-term preservation to ensure they remain accessible into the future.

Permafrost provisions a suite of tools, training and resources to enable members of the Ontario Council of University Libraries to begin actively processing digital objects for long-term preservation and access.

Permafrost is currently transitioning into a production service. New clients will be accepted beginning in September 2018. Please contact us to express interest in using the service!

Benefits

Hosted

Scholars Portal installs, hosts and maintains the key technical components so you can focus on your core work.

Supported

Permafrost puts the importance of training and support front and center. Training resources and guides help you get started quickly and documentation and technical support keeps you rolling.

Stored

Access to the Ontario Library Research Cloud for storage means secure, affordable and reliable storage for preservation. Data is replicated three times between five data centers located at Ontario universities.

Preserved

Standards-based, open source tools for preservation processing means that your collections will be maintained and accessible for the future.

Services

  • Archivematica

    Permafrost’s central function is provisioning hosted instance(s) of the preservation package generator Archivematica, a standards-based workflow tool for producing preservation-worthy packages of data for the future. Multiple instances are available at reduced cost for institutions with a variety of needs.

  • OLRC

    Participants access the Ontario Library Research Cloud for storage, a secure and affordable private cloud created and hosted by libraries in Ontario.

  • Training

    Training resources include initial onboarding and consultation sessions and a four-month hands-on consultation window. Additional training is available in person and online as needed.

  • Tools & resources

    Permafrost includes additional tools for smoother workflows, alongside guides and documentation to make getting up and running easier.

  • Access

    We support metadata-only integration with locally-hosted Access to Memory (AtoM) instances so you can make your materials accessible to users. Full AtoM integration workflows are in testing.

  • Reporting

    Information and statistics on stored packages is provided on a regular basis.

Use Cases

Digital Archives

Keeping digital archival materials for the future

Library Collections

Preserving the library’s diverse digital stacks

Records Management

Ensuring authenticity, accessibility and reliability over time

Pricing

How much does Permafrost cost?

Setup

One-time cost of $2500 for 37 hours of systems and client support time.

Systems setup includes installation and configuration activities, optional metadata-only connection to a local AtoM instance, and user creation.

Client support includes initial testing, consultation through a readiness and needs analysis interview process, an initial training session, consultation and recommendations regarding settings and usage during the first twelve weeks of the service, and access to workflow documentation and ingest tools.

Additional integrations such as DSpace, automated workflows or connecting with local storage available at additional cost based on hours worked.

Training (Optional)

$300 per day plus travel and expenses (in person); $65 per hour online training.

Includes additional training on using Archivematica after onboarding support such as consultation on workflows and best practices for specific materials, assistance in overseeing transfers, and assistance in validating the results of test transfers.

Annual costs

Billed for one instance of Archivematica on an annual basis. Additional instances available for the full price of hardware cost plus 50% of one-time setup and annual technical support costs.

Hardware

Small (2 cores / 4GB memory / 100 GB processing space) $700
Medium (4 cores / 8GB memory / 200 GB processing space) $1,400
Large (8 cores / 16GB memory / 400 GB processing space) $2,800

Storage

Charged at the OCUL OLRC Rate. Permafrost participants do not have to be OLRC subscribers. Permafrost participants who are OCUL members will receive a single bill for total OLRC storage used.

Per 1TB $320 / year
5TB and up $1,600 / year (includes OLRC membership)

Technical support

Technical support includes updates within six months of new releases; triaging and troubleshooting of errors and transfer failures; user management; and general monitoring and system maintenance.

Based on full time equivalent (FTE) student population statistics.

FTE Annual cost
Up to 5,000 $1,000
5,000-15,000 $2,000
15,000-30,000 $4,000
30,000-45,000 $6,000
45,000 and up $8,000

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Permafrost is intended for libraries and archives who need to preserve their digital assets so that they can be reliably maintained into the future. These can be born digital or digitized materials in many different formats, such as archival records, audiovisual materials, images, or text-based materials.

Scholars Portal provides:

- Setup, installation and maintenance of Archivematica instance(s)
- Initial onboarding, testing and setup support, including a readiness interview/consultation and introductory training session
- Ongoing technical troubleshooting support
- Training resources, guides and tools
- Reporting data on stored packages
-Assistance with performing preservation actions over time

The subscribing institution:

- Determines the scope and structure of content to be preserved
- Actively uses the service to process digital content through the workflow(s)
- Resources and manages staff use of, and access to, the service
- Determines preservation policies and procedures with input from Scholars Portal where requested
- Validates outputs against internal or external standards
- Initiates preservation actions over time

Archivematica is an open-source tool for processing digital objects for preservation and access, including born-digital and digitized content. Archivematica is developed and maintained by Artefactual Systems Inc. Its primary function is to process data using a series of linked tasks called microservices to create Archival Information Packages (AIPs) for preservation and Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) for access. It performs actions using a centralized Format Policy Registry (FPR) that is fully customizable based on institutional preferences. Archivematica integrates many individual open source tools for digital preservation tasks, such as file format identification, characterization, validation and normalization, into a single workflow.

An AIP consists of the original data objects and other materials that make up the original transfer, optionally normalized copies of data objects in preservation-friendly formats, submission documentation, logs, and a METS-based XML file describing the package’s contents, the relationships between these contents, and the actions performed on the contents as part of the Archivematica workflow.

A DIP consists of access copies normalized according to rules set in Archivematica (such as a medium-sized jpg file created from a large tif file), thumbnails, and a copy of the METS file.

Permafrost provides a lightweight tool for making Archivematica-friendly CSV files for descriptive metadata import, and access to tools related to the OLRC, such as Swiftbrowser, a browser-based method of transfering data into Archivematica and accessing stored packages. Additional tools are in development.

Onboarding with the service includes an initial needs assessment interview to benchmark the participant’s current capacity, document their needs, and set goals for uses of the service. This interview is followed by an introductory training session. Additional onboarding consultation lasts for the first twelve weeks of service use, and includes consultation on settings, transfer structure, metadata entry, DIP metadata upload to AtoM, file format policies, and validation of stored AIPs and DIPs.

Initial onboarding training, including an introductory session to Archivematica and Permafrost is part of the service. Additional training following the onboarding period can be arranged in person or online at cost.

Technical support is provided for troubleshooting transfer errors and failures, user creation and management, system monitoring and maintenance, and system updates within six months of new releases.

No. Its main function is to produce well-formed data packages. It is not intended for end-users such as students or researchers and does not store the packages itself, though packages are searchable and downloadable through the interface. Hence, it must be connected to independent storage, which is why it pairs beautifully with the Ontario Library Research Cloud, which provides access to secure, affordable and reliable storage.

On the access side, metadata about a stored AIP can be uploaded to Access to Memory (AtoM) instances as part of the Permafrost service, and the DIPs created using Archivematica can be manually uploaded or linked to by users to their locally hosted AtoM instance. Automatic integration with locally-hosted instances of AtoM is in testing. Automatic AtoM integration allows the deposit of digital objects and metadata in AtoM.

Integrations with different access systems or repositories as transfer sources for data are also possible. Contact us for more information.

The default storage space is the Ontario Library Research Cloud, which provides secure and affordable storage replicated across three nodes in Ontario. Permafrost users do not have to be OLRC subscribers. Other storage integrations are possible at extra cost in consultation with Scholars Portal.

Metadata about a stored AIP can be uploaded to Access to Memory (AtoM) instances as part of the Permafrost service, and the DIPs created using Archivematica can be manually uploaded or linked to by users to their locally hosted AtoM instance. Automatic integration with locally-hosted instances of AtoM is in testing. Full AtoM integration allows the deposit of both access copies and metadata in AtoM.

Integrations with different access systems or repositories as transfer sources for data are also possible. Contact us for more information.

Not at this time, but if you are interested in having AtoM hosted, please contact us.

Absolutely. Permafrost does not keep your data within any proprietary system - data is stored outside of the Archivematica itself and your use of the Permafrost service is not locked in. However, systems-created data such as indexes cannot be extracted for users, though this can be re-generated from the stored AIPs themselves.

Archivematica runs on virtual machines that are hosted at Scholars Portal. Not all institutions need a full-capacity machine running at all times. A large machine will be able to process larger-sized transfers or transfers with many files more quickly and is recommended for organizations with greater quantities of audio and video. A medium sized machine is suitable for multimedia transfers up to 5 GB in size. A small machine is suitable for small transfer packages mostly consisting of text and photographs under 1 GB. Part of the onboarding process will involve assessing what machine is right for your needs.

Permafrost is for the use of OCUL members only at this time. However, please contact us if your organization is interested in using this service.

Please contact us to express interest. Permafrost will be open to new clients in September 2018.

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