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Amnesty International creates new global human rights digital archive with Preservica

The world’s largest grassroots human rights organization will use Preservica’s active digital preservation platform to create a global digital archive.

July 26, 2018

The world’s largest grassroots human rights organization will use Preservica’s active digital preservation platform to create a global archive that will accelerate investigations into human rights violations and protect digital records of significant historical importance to the global movement.

Oxford, UK and Boston, MA. July 26th 2018: Amnesty International, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for its "defence of human dignity against torture,” has chosen Preservica’s active digital preservation software to create a new digital archive for the organization’s International Secretariat. The digital archive will streamline secure access to information for up to 700 people across its 20 international offices working to defend human rights. It will also enable Amnesty to digitally preserve and provide better access to 57 years of history.

Founded in 1961, Amnesty is a global movement of seven million people dedicated to its mission, ‘human rights enjoyed by all.’ After more than 50 years of ground-breaking achievements, Amnesty has been through a major transformation, adapting to dramatic changes in the world. The International Secretariat has shifted from a large London base, to open regional offices in cities in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Archive of the International Secretariat has had to adapt to support staff regardless of their location or time zone.

The International Secretariat is home to a vast archive of paper-based, digitised and born digital records actively collected by its global team as evidence in human rights violation cases throughout the world. This includes observations from the 1962 trial of Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, minutes from the first ever international meeting of the Amnesty movement, campaigns material such as the “Stop Violence Against Women” campaign, research and case files, mission notes, submissions to the UN, as well as audio-visual resources and administrative documents that support the work of the movement.

The new digital archive will run on Preservica’s Enterprise Private Cloud platform and enable Amnesty to retain and ingest content that has long term value to the organization and the wider world. It will also provide secure global access for staff working to assemble evidence for presentation to international bodies, and speed up online discovery and the production of reports through the enriching of metadata.

Bryony Hooper, Archivist to the International Secretariat, is responsible for the internal enquiries service for the global organization, as well as the creation of the catalog interface to support Amnesty’s current research and campaign work. According to Bryony, the new digital archive presents an opportunity to proactively leverage the value of Amnesty’s accumulated digital records, as well as manage and protect the growing volume of modern born-digital content such as social media, websites, emails, images and video.

“Ensuring the secure capture of what we consider to be evidence of human rights abuses was a major factor in our decision to choose a system like Preservica,” says Bryony. “We needed to procure a digital preservation solution that could ensure the integrity and long term preservation of data, regardless of the format or medium. If Amnesty uses footage pulled down from a website, or even a YouTube video to support a claim we make, we need to know that we can still access this content if we are challenged about it. In addition to this, our support of individuals and communities can span decades. And so access to prior information regarding their situation and the work Amnesty has done to support them is vital.”

Preservica will become the secure home for this valuable data, making it easy to search as well as ensuring it can be read and used in to the future.

“Digital evidence can come in all shapes and sizes, from satellite image analysis of the flattening of Myanmar Rohingya villages during a military campaign of ethnic cleansing, to social media evidence collected from our digital verification team surrounding ongoing human rights violations throughout the world,” says Bryony. “Staff expect access to archive data regardless of whether they are on mission or in an office. By providing a search platform such as Preservica’s Universal Access, we can enable staff to discover relevant resources while also maintaining appropriate access rights to some of our more sensitive data. It’s also a great opportunity to hugely increase the use of the archives.”

Bryony works as the sole archivist to the International Secretariat, and currently all international enquires from the global offices go through her. Appropriate configuration of the Universal Access feature will reduce the need for her to act as a gatekeeper to all archive requests, giving her more time to catalog records and provide valuable further context to digital assets. Bryony will lead the new project and manage the migration valuable long-term records from Amnesty’s SharePoint system through a series of ingests of metadata and content into the safekeeping of Preservica.

Preservica CEO Mike Quinn says: “We are delighted to be part of this important new initiative at Amnesty to empower the global team and future-proof vital evidence for future generations. It very much aligns with our mission to help our customers protect and harness their digital memory, and we look forward to welcoming Amnesty International to our rapidly growing global user community.”

Notes to Editors

About Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.

About Preservica

Preservica is changing the way organisations around the world protect and future-proof critical long-term digital information. Available on the cloud (SaaS) or on premise, our award-winning active digital preservation software has been designed from the ground-up to tackle the unique challenges of ensuring digital information remains accessible and trustworthy over decades.

It’s a proven solution that's trusted by a growing number of businesses, archives, libraries, museums and government organisations around the world - including the Associated Press, Transport for London (TfL), Texas State Library and Archives, MoMA, Yale, and HSBC - to name a few.

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