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This is BIG: GPO + LOCKSS (update)

Last week, James made a modest announcement of the biggest development in digital deposit in decades.

This means that GPO is assisting the LOCKSS-USDOCS project in preserving content harvested from fdsys.gov. That means we are developing a geographically distributed network of digital archives. There are already 18 libraries participating, including 4 regionals. As James pointed out, this “replicates key aspects of the FDLP in the digital environment and furthers the concept of ‘digital deposit,’ an essential component of the digital FDLP.”

One indicator of the importance of this project in the world of digital preservation is that the Association of Computing Machinery’s technology newsletter, ACM TechNews, lists the project today.

Although LOCKSS-USDOCS is still essentially a backup of FDSYS (the content only gets made accessible if the live content goes away), this is still an enormous step in the right direction for digital preservation, both technically and politically. It was fairly recently that GPO seemed to want nothing to do with LOCKSS (See: GPO LOCKSS report: Why LOCKSS vs. FDsys? and GPO, LOCKSS, IP Authentication, and the future of FDLP — more clarification needed.) Now, GPO is actively collaborating with depository libraries by putting LOCKSS permission statements throughout the FDsys.gov site in order for LOCKSS-USDOCS to harvest GPO content. This is a huge change in GPO’s attitude from 3 years ago!

Now that we are beginning to have a distributed digital backup of FDsys, we can begin to look forward to the next steps of digital deposit in which documents and data will be deposited into live digital library collections for active retrieval and use.

Congratulations go to James, Stanford, LOCKSS, and GPO!!

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