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Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > Chronopolis

March 29, 2008 -- One of the chief goals of the Library’s Digital Preservation Program is to provide incentives to its partners to form alliances with others as part of the continuing growth of the national network of collecting and preserving institutions.

This demonstration project, called Chronopolis, was formed to meet the archival needs of a wide range of cultural and social domains. Chronopolis is a datagrid framework being developed by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (external link), the University of California at San Diego Libraries and their partners at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (external link) in Boulder, Colo., and the University of Maryland’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (external link) in College Park.

Two collections from within the NDIIPP community will be incorporated into the Chronopolis preservation grid:


Digital storage at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Photo by Ben Tolo, San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego.

Chronopolis leverages the data storage infrastructure at San Diego, Boulder and College Park to provide a preservation datagrid that emphasizes heterogeneous, highly accessible and redundant data storage systems. Each Chronopolis partner will run a grid node, with at least 50 terabytes of storage capacity, for NDIIPP-related digital collections. Storing the data at three facilities ensures that in the case of failure at one institution, the other two will be able to provide the same data.

This cross-domain collection sharing for long-term preservation is a key goal of the Chronopolis initiative. “Chronopolis utilizes the strengths of its members to create a unique working group for delivering a grid-based digital preservation gateway,” said Robert McDonald, co-manager of the Chronopolis Demonstration Project.

The Chronopolis methodology employs a minimum of three geographically distributed copies of the data collections, while enabling curatorial audit reporting and access for preservation clients. Partners will generate permanent information for each collection using the Audit Control Environment developed by the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. Each collection from the Interuniversity Consortium and the California Digital Library will have a community-targeted Web interface to check on the status and authenticity of the collections while they are being managed within the Chronopolis datagrid.

Chronopolis is developing a partnership that leverages existing high-speed educational and research networks and mass-scale storage infrastructure investments. Using datagrid technologies, the partnership will develop best practices for the entire NDIIPP community regarding data packaging and transmission among different digital archive systems. More information about the project is available at its Web site (external link).