US State Archives
Bill Steel, Jon Tilbury and I have just returned from a very useful informational tour of US State Archives and leading US academic institutions. The purpose of the trip was to gain a better understand of the position of the State Archives with regards to long term digital preservation. We had some very engaging conversations in California, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia and also with the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
The information gathered from this tour is going to help lay a solid foundation as we look to engage with potential SDB clients in North America. Many states have a deep understanding of the challenges and risks they are faced with, but funding for digital archiving projects is scarce. As a result many of them have turned to open source approaches, but they acknowledge that this is only helping them to solve the problem of managing the bits and they lacked good quality user interfaces. We are hoping to establish a pilot program with one or two states in conjunction with the Library of Congress over the coming months, which will enable them to benefit from the SDB technology, and potentially make some recommendations towards the future roadmap.