Introduced in 2020, the DigiSafe service was set up to meet the University’s need for secure long-term archiving of digital material. DigiSafe provides a storage solution for off-site archiving of material from different units across the collegiate University (college archives, departmental offices, research units etc.).
While many users of DigiSafe are using the system to preserve digitised historical collections, administrative records can also be stored securely. A particular advantage is that access can be controlled so that one group of staff has full read and write access, while another could be limited to read-only access.
How one college is using DigiSafe
The Queen’s College recently completed migrating student records to DigiSafe dating back sixty years. The Portable Digital File (PDFs) were uploaded, and the fields for descriptive information on each student (metadata) were created. A new metadata import tool was used to import information from a spreadsheet so that each file has metadata linking it to the student it relates to. PDF files including the academic records of 6,500 individual students are now stored within the DigiSafe system.
Now that the records are stored in DigiSafe, they can be searched more easily across a range of metadata such as student name, year of matriculation or course. The PDF files have been though an Optical Character Recognition process which allows free-text searches. Adding metadata means searches can be refined and it’s even possible to use more than one metadata field at once.
Michael Riordan, Archivist at Queen’s College commented:
We joined DigiSafe because it would allow us to store more digital material and better records management tools.
DigiSafe maintains four copies of each file in offsite locations and automatic checking ensures that the files are maintained in the same state they were uploaded. This give assurance that files have not been altered or any information lost. Any access to files is logged which is best practice when dealing with personal data and also allows for security auditing.
How to access DigiSafe
Currently, DigiSafe is a subscription-based service, on a cost-recovery basis. For more information about DigiSafe and to find out how you can sign up for the service, visit the Digital Preservation Service webpage or contact the team by emailing email@example.com.