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Digital Deposit in Action: Alaska State Documents via LOCKSS

Since July 2004, electronic state publications have represented about half of all documents collected through the Alaska State Publications Program. To eliminate broken URLs and to improve the preservation of electronic publications of state agencies, the Alaska State Library is storing electronic state publications on our web server and turning to a technology called LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe).

LOCKSS caches (computers), including ones at the Alaska State Library, Stanford University, and Yale University collect the cataloged electronic documents stored on our server at and stores them locally. If something happens to our local server, or if the institution where the LOCKSS cache is based loses access to the Internet, the documents are served from the LOCKSS cache and stay locally available.

Further information about LOCKSS can be found at http://www.lockss.org. Two sections of the web site of special interest are Answers for Library Directors and For Librarians. For information about how the Alaska State Library is using LOCKSS, please contact Daniel Cornwall at dan_cornwall AT eed.state.ak.us.

The Alaska State Library invites any library interested in building a local collection of digital Alaska State Documents to join the LOCKSS Alliance, which is required to access collections administered through the LOCKSS technology. Yearly membership fees for LOCKSS for Academic libraries can be found at http://www.lockss.org/documents/for_libraries.pdf. Other institutions, such as public libraries are encouraged to contact Vicky Reich of Stanford University at vreich AT stanford.edu for a price quote. Alliance membership also entitles you to build a local collection of free electronic journals that are listed at http://www.lockss.org/about/titles.htm (scroll down to “open access journals.”)

Your library might already be a member of the 50-strong LOCKSS Alliance. Check if in doubt.

Alaska State Documents WILL continue to be freely available to anyone via the agency sites and the Alaska State Library. LOCKSS fees are only for those institutions wishing to build local digital collections of Alaska State Documents.

In case anyone is wondering, yes, we are continuing to print out copies of state “web only” publications while we evaluate LOCKSS. If that evaluation is favorable and we can get enough official Alaska depositories to commit to LOCKSS, we may study abandoning paper.

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