New digital strong room for Jersey

A new company has been appointed to help Jersey Archive store and preserve the huge volumes of digital records in its care.

Arkivum Perpetua provides a digital preservation and archival safeguarding system, designed specifically for the heritage sector, which will be in place for the Islands records by the end of 2018. It will cost £18,500 per year, increasing as more digital records are transferred in time.

Linda Romeril, Jersey Heritage’s archive and collections director, said: “The digital archive had grown so much that our local servers were holding 20 terabytes of data. Processes, such as authenticity checks, had to be run manually, which was time-consuming, and the risk of data loss and corruption was an overriding concern.

“Our new system will give us all peace of mind. We’re having a new physical strong room built at the moment, and I see Arkivum Perpetua as its digital equivalent, giving us confidence that we can preserve a vital part of Jersey’s history for decades and centuries to come.”

Jersey Archive holds the complete public record of States of Jersey, a photo archive of around 1.5 million images and digitised artefacts, such as registration cards from the Occupation – all of which tell the story of life on the Island up to the present day.

Linda explained that they needed a digital preservation system that would help the archive meet its legal obligation to look after all archive materials – the items that are digitised, as well as the increasing number of born-digital assets.

Paula Keogh, vice-president of heritage and higher education at Arkivum, said: “Archives, such as Jersey Heritage, now handle an array of formats – from images, videos and audio material, to documents such as PDFs. “They have to test for authenticity, manage format obsolescence, and above all, keep all their digital assets secure. With Arkivum Perpetua, Jersey Heritage can now reassure the organisations and individuals contributing to the archive that their irreplaceable materials are in safe hands.”