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Customer Success Story

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Archives Its Rich Heritage Using Preservica on AWS

The storied Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) powers research by archiving its rich heritage using Preservica on AWS

The institution, which dates back to the 1600s, wanted to use a modern software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to both preserve and access its records. By using Active Digital Preservation archiving software for academic institutions from AWS Partner Preservica, RCPI can automatically provide accessibility and readability for digital content — no matter what file format it was created in. Now, RCPI teams are storing, protecting, and sharing their digital records.


Founded in 1654, RCPI has extensive medical records and wanted to store, protect, and share its content using a SaaS solution. At the same time, the institution prioritized simplicity because it doesn’t have an extensive local IT staff. “Researchers expect to be able to access collections online at a greater rate, but it is essential we do this in a way that verifies that the digital collections are available and preserved for the long term,” says Harriet Wheelock, keeper of collections at RCPI.

After an extensive search, RCPI found Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Preservica in 2022. Using a SaaS solution from Preservica, RCPI could protect its globally significant records. “Our teams have fulfilled their mission of empowering researchers by using Preservica,” says Harriet.

Preserving Historical Records for Future Generations

RCPI has a storied history, and it continues to support doctors to enhance their skills, competencies, and professionalism today. Its archiving operations, entrusted to the RCPI Heritage Centre, advance RCPI’s purpose by protecting and sharing its unique collections relating to the history of medicine in Ireland. However, keeping up with constantly evolving technical standards for data was challenging. As a result, RCPI set out to find a simple-to-use solution that would future-proof its archiving efforts.

RCPI selected Preservica because it is one of the companies leading the way to change how organizations around the world protect critical long-term digital information. Also, RCPI placed high value on its ability to purchase a solution effortlessly. In essence, RCPI could acquire the company’s product, also called Preservica—a comprehensive, cloud-hosted SaaS active digital preservation solution—off the shelf. “Our customers need to protect their significant historical and business records, but they often don’t have the local IT staff or resources,” says Moira Edwards, vice president of channels and alliances at Preservica. “That’s why we offer a SaaS solution on AWS and have made it available to procure through AWS Marketplace, a place to discover, deploy, and manage software that runs on AWS.”

Because RCPI uses Preservica as a SaaS solution, it doesn’t need to invest in a large IT support staff. By using Preservica Cloud Edition, which is hosted on AWS, the institution can preserve its content without purchasing hardware or worrying about servers.

Building an Active Digital Preservation Solution That Scales on Amazon S3

Preservica used various AWS services to build and host the cloud edition of its SaaS solution. It runs on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which provides secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload.

For storage, Preservica wanted a durable and cost-effective service. It found what it was looking for by implementing Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service offering scalability, data availability, security, and performance. By using the object durability and auto-storing capabilities of Amazon S3, Preservica delivers 99.999999999 percent object durability to customers.

Because Preservica wants to make it simpler for its customers to find their data, the company uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), a collection of managed services that makes it simple to set up, operate, and scale databases in the cloud. Using Amazon RDS, Preservica stores rich metadata for digital content, which dramatically increases that content’s accessibility. “Using Amazon S3, we are confident in the accessibility and security of vital customer data,” says Moira. “A key to storing information is using metadata and getting to it effortlessly, which is why we also use Amazon RDS.”

Using these AWS services, Preservica can deliver advanced functionality to RCPI and its vast array of customers. The software automatically verifies that digital content remains accessible and readable over decades and supports over 2,000 file formats. It also provides a customizable online discovery portal for showcasing digital collections. Using Preservica’s SaaS solution, RCPI provides access to its extensive historical medical records to researchers, doctors, and the public.

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