In 2005, CRL was awarded funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop the procedures and activities required to audit and certify digital archives. The project began in May 2005 and continued through January 2007.
Rigorous assessment is necessary to determine the level of assurance a particular archiving service provides to publishers and users, and to ensure that the valuable digital resources archived, such as electronic journals, news, and other scholarly content, will continue to be available and functional. Certification will enable universities, libraries, publishers, consortia, and others to protect their investments in developing and securing access to knowledge and evidence in electronic form, and thereby foster confidence in digital archiving.
The project built upon the work of the RLG-NARA Digital Repository Certification Task Force to develop digital archives certification processes and metrics. By testing the RLG-NARA metrics through actual audits of three digital archives and one archiving system, project staff developed a detailed set of methodologies for auditing and certification, and identified the corresponding costs.
The project also laid the foundation for CRL’s subsequent case studies of Long-Lived Digital Collections, a project supported by the National Science Foundation.