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Press release: Colby-Sawyer College widens access to the digitized records of student life past and present with Tessella’s Preservica

Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is a private college with a deep historical collection of college photos, student newspapers and precious letters, including the Pillsbury family letters dating back to the 1850s.

May 21, 2013

Washington, US | 21st May 2013

Colby-Sawyer is a private college that is steadily growing, doubling its student size from 700 to 1400 in the last 6 years. Founded in 1837, it has a deep historical collection of college photos, student newspapers and precious letters, including the Pillsbury family letters dating back to the 1850s.

In 1996, it established the college archives and, in 2007, began to digitize parts of the collection primarily to widen access to the digitized records of student life past and present. Kelli Bogan, College Archivist, Colby-Sawyer College explains why: “When I started back in 2008, Colby-Sawyer had recently put in place a digitization project and digital archive. One of my major roles was to digitize and digitally preserve our historically significant collections which included letters by Ralph Waldo

Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet, and Susan Brownell Anthony, a prominent American civil rights leader along with student newspapers and college photos which were previously only accessible with an archives appointment during business hours.

The main goal was to make the archives more visible and a large part of the program was to make sure we are preserving the material that we digitized, making it accessible to students and alumni and to guarantee that we don’t have to do it all again 10 years down the line.”

However, Kelli grew increasingly concerned about the suitability of the content management system’s ability to manage the ever increasing volume of digital content and to preserve it for the long term.

Kelli continues: “I was getting more and more apprehensive that the system we had in place was not appropriate for long term digital preservation and not easy for students and alumni to access. For example, our system altered the dates that files were created and modified to the day they were entered into the system. We then looked at open-source digital preservation systems but found that the internal resource required to support such systems properly meant that it would not be cost effective for us.”

Kelli concludes: “Preservica is exactly what we were looking for because it’s a cost effective and production-ready solution to the challenges in the digital age. We now feel safe in the knowledge that students and alumni alike can access digital records for many years to come.”

Jon Tilbury, Director of Archiving Solutions for Tessella commented: “We are very pleased that Colby-Sawyer selected Tessella’s Preservica. It shows that having a world class digital preservation system is not only reserved for national archives and libraries.”

Jon continued: “Preservica really lowers the barriers to entry for organizations looking for full life cycle digital archiving and is suitable for commercial organizations or public institutions, in fact anyone who wants a high quality digital archiving system. Preservica is available via an affordable yearly subscription for the full application.”

Preservica is based on the advanced Safety Deposit Box (SDB) technology in use at leading National Archives and Libraries, making the same level of digital preservation service available to business, organizations, and memory institutions that need to protect their digital wealth without incurring all the human capital costs of running such a specialist service.


Notes to the Editor

About Digital Preservation at Tessella

Tessella is world leader in digital preservation solutions, technology, consulting and research. Customers across 4 continents rely on our on-premise solution, SDB, to preserve their priceless digital information. The same world-leading solution is available in the cloud on a pay as you go plan with our Software as a Service offering, Preservica. Our core technology, now in its fourth generation, has won the UK’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category. It provides a stable, professionally-supported platform with the flexibility to deliver individual customer needs.

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