Long Live the Planet of the AIPs!

In this day and age, it is hard to ignore the constant loom of the climate crisis while also trying to navigate the world’s economic challenges.This tag-team of wicked problems seems to touch every aspect of our lives in one way or another, but have you ever considered how they affect digital preservation? That is exactly what the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) wanted to know from its supporters, including Artefactual, at this year’s Digital Preservation Futures webinar series.

At Artefactual, we envision a future where cultural memory thrives and we think that the best way to achieve that future is three-fold:  by making open source software, by focusing on data centricity, and by being part of a diverse community of users.

Artefactual makes open source software intentionally, in part, to make starting digital preservation more accessible to a wider variety of community users. Financial contribution does not have to come from all participants equally. We want to see as many organizations succeed as possible, which is why we give away our code and our documentation. 

Additionally, when we think about how to make digital preservation more durable, we focus our work around the idea that the AIP should outlast the software that created it. AIPS are designed to be self-describing and system-agnostic. Although this design philosophy was not specifically created to address environmental and economic problems, organizations can make choices that result in a system that is low cost and with a low environmental footprint. 

Finally, by being part of a community that includes our customers, those running Archivematica on their own or with another service provider, we build resiliency into our tools and processes which in turn increases the chances of cultural memory persisting over time.

What’s good for an AIP is also good for an organization and for a community – long live the planet of the AIPs!