Holiday Greetings from APTrust and Save the Date!

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Bradley Daigle

Dec 21, 2021, 8:07:39 AM12/21/21
to, APTrust Deans and Directors, APTrust Assistants, APTrust community
Dear APTrust Members and Community,

As we all know and have had repeated to us as frequently as certain holiday tunes, 2021 was a tumultuous year. Thankfully, from a digital preservation perspective, that was not the case for APTrust. Our major change in 2021 is that Program Director, Chip German, “retired” in March of this year. I place retired in quotes because those of you who know Chip understand that retirement is relative term for how he is spending his time right now!

Here are some APTrust and Member highlights from 2021
  • Deposits continue to come in regularly: we are now just shy of 200 TB, making us one of the largest non-profit digital preservation services in the US.
  • One of our members suffered a significant data loss this year and I am happy to report that APTrust was able to restore 100% of that lost data successfully–our first such test.
  • The APTrust Communications and Advisory Teams worked hard to update and revise our policy and governance documentation—all of which were approved by the APTrust Board this past Fall. These are all publicly available.
  • APTrust reserve fund stands in excess of $1.2m—augmenting our already strong sustainability position.
  • APTrust is nearly finished re-writing its entire software stack thanks in large part to our Lead Developer, Andrew Diamond—saving the membership upwards of $200k (the estimated cost from software contractors)
  • Flavia Ruffner, DevOps and Security Lead Engineer worked with APTrust members to create an incident reporting template and tracking tool that was used by two members already this year. 
  • Flavia, Michael Runyon (William and Mary) and Alex Kinnaman (Virginia Tech) have drafted a framework for security and disaster management as part of an ongoing group.
  • Andrew Diamond’s DART tool continues to gain interest and users as an intuitive way for non-technologists to manage digital preservation workflows. Andrew has made multiple presentations on DART (to many groups outside of APTrust) and has developed an extended version that is being evaluated by the Hyku user community along with others.
  • Jay Gaidmore (William and Mary) initiated an APTrust for Archivists meeting to discuss the needs of archives and digital preservation via APTrust. This group includes non-APTrust members as well and will continue to meet in 2022.
  • We welcomed new member, Princeton Theological Seminary as our latest Sustaining Member.
  • APTrust launched a new group (Team Social Impact) to look at our member models (sustaining and consortial) in order to create easier pathways to digital preservation for historically marginalized communities and organizations.
Coming in 2022
  • A website overhaul
  • Updated and accessible APTrust member interface
  • Our first post-pandemic (fingers crossed) Member meeting—see below
  • Sailing past the quarter petabyte mark for deposits
  • Report from Team Social Impact that maps out important next steps for inclusivity.

APTrust hopes to hold an in-person Member Meeting in Charlottesville on 02-03 May (with a Dean’s dinner the night of the 1st), so please save those dates. Of course, this is provisional depending on the state of travel. 

I am also pleased to tell you that the APTrust Board has approved underwriting most of the travel costs to come to the event (airfare, hotel), understanding that budgets are still strained. We want to lower any barrier to bringing us all together. If you have any questions please let me know. We will confirm the in-person nature of the event closer to that date (early March).

Finally, I would like to thank each of you for your resilience and support over the last year and wish you and your families a safe and peaceful holiday season.

Happy Holidays! 


Bradley J. Daigle
Executive Director, APTrust

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