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Digital Preservation: Digital Preservation @ VT

Preservation at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech's digital preservation statement:
"We preserve our digital library and repository content to ensure future accessibility and usability of digital assets using local digital preservation systems and geographically distributed digital preservation networks such as MetaArchive and Academic Preservation Trust, and by performing a biannual crawl and harvest of Virginia Tech's web presence using Internet Archive's Archive-It service."
--Digital Libraries & Repositories 

See our Preservation Policy for specific information.

Learn More

For more detailed information about our department, visit the Digital Imaging & Preservation Services site.

What do we preserve?

The purpose of our preservation system is to preserve all digital assets produced by the Viriginia Tech Libraries, which largely includes scholarly communications and content produced in library projects.

Scholarly communication examples include:
  • ETDs
  • BTDs
  • Published works, including articles, essays, books, collaborations, etc.
  • White papers
  • Conference materials, including posters and presentations
  • Data sets
  • Digital Videos, such as Event Capture files
  • Other scanned images
Digitized content examples include:
  • Digitized objects, such as scanned or photocopied images
  • Born-digital objects, such as text files or excel files
Specific repositories include:
  • VTechWorks (including Special Collection and Event Capture)
  • VTechData
  • Odyssey
  • Image Base

Related VT Departments

The Imaging & Preservation Department is a part of the Research & Informatics Department and collaborates with several other departments, sub-departments, studios, and groups regularly, including:


Digital Preservation Diagram

This is a  diagram of the digital preservation workflow for content at Virginia Tech University Libraries. This process is managed by the Digital Imaging and Preservation Services Department (DI&PS). Content produced by Clients and Content Managers is processed through a SIP creation tool developed by the Digital Preservation Technologist that bags the content. Content is then processed through Archivematica's microservices and transferred to one of our storage servers. This entire workflow depends on other minor technologies, accesses several additional servers, and the collaboration of several departments in the library. There are also additional workflows for specialty content, such as Digital Humanities content and Creative Technologies Theses, that is still being developed.

Our Technologies


Virginia Tech is a member of both MetaArchive and Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust). Both organizations are aimed at long-term digital preservation storage, maintenance, and security. We also maintain local copies in our instance of AWS.

MetaArchive is an organization consisting of various libraries, universities, and other institutions geared towards long-term preservation. Their storage is based on LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe) caches, based at Stanford University. Archival units that VT controls on behalf of other institutions are ingested into MetaArchive.

APTrust is a consortium consisting of various higher education institutions for the purpose of preserving academic content and is based at the University of Virginia. Content created at VT is processed through Archivematica and then ingested into APTrust.

See more information on our internal Storage Service through AWS.

Preservation Activities

U-Pack is a SIP creation tool developed by the Digital Preservation Technologist at Virginia Tech. This tool produces checksums in a manifest, formats basic metadata, and bags each item prior to upload to our various storage locations.

Web Crawling

Archive-It is a web archiving service developed by Internet Archive that web crawls Virginia Tech's presence biannually. See our Web Archiving Program and the Web Archiving LibGuide for more information.

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Current Projects

As of June 2019:

  • We are working with IT to develop new policies, workflows, and strategies for digital curation of VTUL content. 

NLI Sessions

Each semester we provide 3 digital preservation courses, and occasionally additional preservation courses. See the following information on the Fall 2019 courses. This is the correct and updated information.

Digital Preservation: Personal Archiving

  • September 4th, 2019
  • 10:30a - 12p
  • Newman 207A

Digital Preservation: Professional Preservation

  • October 2nd, 2019
  • 10:30a - 12p
  • Newman 207A

Digital Preservation: Preservation at Virginia Tech

  • November 6th, 2019
  • 10:30a - 12p
  • Newman 207A

World Digital Preservation Day Lightning Talks

  • November 7th, 2019
  • 2p - 3p
  • Newman 207A

VT Repositories We Preserve

VT Library Infrastructure

Relavant LibGuides