Meemoo's digital archive infrastructure audited

27 Jun 2022

In our strategic plan, we resolved to carry out an audit to measure the quality of our sustainable preservation. An independent party used the Digital Sustainability Scoring Model and CoreTrustSeal, an international certification for digital archives, to review our digital archive infrastructure. Want to find out where we stand?

Developing a sustainable digital archive infrastructure is a never-ending process that requires constant monitoring of changing technical possibilities and continuous adaptation to new insights and evolving services. This assessment is an important contribution to meemoo’s constant growth process, which gives us the opportunity to take fundamental steps forward.

How did the assessment go?

The digital sustainability of our digital archive infrastructure was assessed on the basis of the Digital Sustainability Scoring Model and CoreTrustSeal criteria. We also tested our archive infrastructure against conditions included in the CoreTrustSeal: mission, licences, continuity, ethics, organisation, expertise, integrity and authenticity, assessment, procedures, preservation plan, data quality, workflows, findability, reuse, infrastructure and security.

Meemoo and Digitaal Erfgoed Nederland (DEN), the knowledge institute for digital transformation in the cultural sector in the Netherlands, developed the Digital Sustainability Scoring Model Digitale Duurzaamheid and then fully reviewed it with the Dutch Digital Heritage Network in 2018. This tool consists of 56 questions grouped into seven clusters, including ‘mandate and policy’, ‘storage strategy’, ‘technical infrastructure’, ‘access’, etc. The self-assessment model therefore looks at technical as well as organisational and procedural aspects.

Datable (link in Dutch) emerged as the most suitable partner for this project following a tender procedure. We provided them with our self-assessment via the Digital Sustainability Scoring Model, which they merged with their preliminary research in order to audit our archive infrastructure against the CoreTrustSeal criteria. Based on this overall assessment, Datable then prioritised what actions we needed to take to improve our digital sustainability.

What conclusions can we draw?

Datable came to the positive conclusion that ‘meemoo generally has a sound infrastructure and the necessary expertise to successfully fulfil its remit, which is supported by a clear mission and mandate from the Flemish government. Our analysis did not identify any critical structural deficiencies that could pose any direct threat to the preservation and accessibility of the digital content in the medium term.’

We also wanted to draw up some specific action points based on the assessment results, and are currently prioritising all aspects relating to our planning and specific added value over the next few years.

What steps can we take?

  • Our employees are familiar with the processes and procedures, even though they aren’t always formally documented. We will therefore compile and document our vision, strategy and concrete measures in a preservation plan, for example to make the content more findable, available and readable.

  • We are currently making use of external expertise on an ad hoc basis, but this could be embedded more structurally, for example by setting up an external advisory body on sustainable archiving.

  • Good-quality metadata is another important topic for us to work on, but we’re not alone in facing this challenge and it will be necessary to collaborate with our content partners. We are taking significant steps forward with our metadata roadmap and projects on the use of machine learning.

  • Finally, we are also facing challenges in terms of copyright and privacy, and their translation into metadata licences. The report suggests that research into alignment or coordination with other standards (e.g. Flemish data licences) could add value.

This page is loading...