Indiana State University Newsroom

Faculty receive digital preservation grant for statewide project

October 15, 2015

Indiana State University faculty members from the Cunningham Memorial Library and Bayh College of Education have received a Library Services Technology Act grant for $51,000 to partner with the Indiana State Library to establish the Indiana Memory Digital Preservation Collaborative.

The collaborative is a statewide initiative that aims to provide an affordable and sustainable digital preservation solution for small to mid-sized cultural heritage organizations that lack the necessary resources to manage the digital files in their collections.

"For those of us who are fortunate enough to have the resources, we have an obligation to help those who are under-resourced," said Cinda May, special collections chair at Cunningham Memorial Library and the project's principle investigator. Working with May as co-principle investigators are Stephen Patton, chair of library systems, and Timothy Boileau, new media and learning instructor.

Once established, the collaborative will join the MetaArchive Cooperative, which is a community-based distributed digital preservation network, as a member with the Indiana State Library as the lead organization. Cunningham Memorial Library will oversee the server used to ingest content into the network, as well as the work of the metadata specialist who will "wrangle" or prepare the digital files for that ingest, May said.

"Access is the name of the game," May said. "Digital files are very sensitive as technology is ever-changing. We would all like to think that we will never lose our digital content, but we need to be responsible and find ways to ensure its viability in the future. This grant will help us establish an affordable solution for Indiana's cultural heritage organizations that are creating and collecting digital files."

The grant funding is divided into three parts to be allocated towards education, hardware and data preparation, May said.

The money reserved for education will be used to create an online educational resource for digital preservation in Indiana. It will also fund free regional educational opportunities across the state designed to increase knowledge about digital preservation and its issues, as well as to promote the establishment of a collaborative solution for a shared need. May and Connie Rendfeld, the digital initiatives librarian at Indiana State Library, will be involved in the development and presentation of these seminars.

"The Indiana State Library will serve as the lead institution for a collaborative membership in the MetaArchive Cooperative, a community based distributed digital preservation network that utilizes the LOCKSS software," May said, referring to the computer application Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe application developed by Stanford University. "Cunningham Memorial Library will house and maintain the LOCKSS server and software."

Boileau at the Bayh College of Education will oversee the development of the online educational resource.A working group of experts will develop the membership structure for the Indiana Memory Digital Preservation Center.

"The goal is to recruit 20 participants for the IMDPC at the startup, but we envision as many as 500 participants over the course of time," May said.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library.


Contact: Cinda May, chair of special collections at the library and project director of Wabash Valley Visions and Voices, 812-237-2534 or

Writer: Jamina Tribbett, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or

Story Highlights

Cunningham Memorial Library and Bayh College of Education faculty have received a Library Services Technology Act grant for $51,000 to partner with the Indiana State Library to establish the Indiana Memory Digital Preservation Collaborative.

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