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Hybrid Archives Project

Description | Contacts | Documents  


The Hybrid Archives (formerly Partial Deposit) Project aims to address two key challenges facing the JISC information environment as it strives to provide access to and preservation of important institutional collections:

  • It seeks to address some of the institutional barriers to depositing collections with data services such as the AHDS
  • It will address the shortcoming of the OAI harvesting methodology for disclosing metadata for searching at a rich level of granularity, and the lack of provision for the long-term preservation of disclosed assets.

The AHDS aims to achieve this by developing and testing a new model for depositing institutional assets that provides a bridge between the complexity and burdens of full 'traditional' deposit, and the more simplified approach embodied in harvesting methodology. This model would take elements of both traditional deposit and harvesting methodology and re-work them to produce an integrated and cohesive deposit model that ensures:

  • Institutional assets are disclosed to the AHDS at a level of granularity that enables detailed cross-searching with full deposit collections, and that they are exposed for searching within the appropriate portals of the JISC information environment
  • Long-term preservation of institutional assets is provided for, together with a formal exit strategy should the institution no longer be able or willing to support the collection.

It is expected that this model should provide a cost effective solution to the problems of ensuring large-scale deposit of institutional collections in order to ensure preservation and access for the long term. The cost of disseminating assets will be shared between the institution and the deposit archive, and will thus enable data services and archives to integrate and preserve an increased number of collections into their portfolios.

Metadata Philosophies and Harvesting

Though agreement on a variety of metadata standards is a necessary prerequisite for interoperable digital collections, implementation of interoperability also requires a set of architectures and a common approach to making that metadata available to other collections, middleware, and end users.

The philosophy which emerged from within the Dublin Core community relies upon interlocking containers and packages of metadata, each maintained by a particular community. According to this philosophy, each community can support the packages of metadata it needs for its own particular uses, while still interoperating with the metadata packages from other communities. Under this philosophy the Dublin Core (DC) serves as a unifying set of metadata to allow discovery across all communities, even within the DC, qualifiers that meet specific needs can be employed, while still providing useful metadata to other communities.

This philosophy supports metadata packages that are modular, overlapping, extensible, and community-based. It is also designed for a networked set of communities to inter-relate to one another. It is agreement on such standards and architectures, as well as best practise in assuring that content and metadata from different collections meet minimum standards for preservation purposes, that the Hybrid Archives Project will seek to support and engender throughout the wider community.


Contacts and Project Details
Project TitleHybrid Archives: Towards an Extensible Model for Depositing Institutional Assets (formerly Partial Deposit)
Start Date1/2/2003
End Date31/7/2004
Lead InstitutionAHDS (Arts & Humanities Data Service)
Project DirectorSheila Anderson
Tel: 020 7928 7673
Project ManagerAs above
Project AdministratorMartha Brundin
Tel: 020 7928 7991
Partner InstitutionsCourtauld Institute, Royal Holloway, Theatre Museum


Hybrid Archives Project Plan PDF version (115kb)
Report from 3rd Open Archives Forum, March 2003, Berlin PDF version (29kb)
Hybrid Archives Model RTF version (563kb)
Hybrid Archives Model PDF version (161kb)
Licence Model RTF version (420kb)
Licence Model PDF version (234kb)
Report on Preserving Resources that are Frequently Updated RTF version (324kb)
Report on Preserving Resources that are Frequently Updated PDF version (144kb)
Survey of existing OAI-PMH/Z39.50 tools RTF version (287kb)
Survey of existing OAI-PMH/Z39.50 tools PDF version (101kb)
Survey of existing data harvesting/transfer techniques and tools RTF version (842kb)
Survey of existing data harvesting/transfer techniques and tools PDF version (155kb)
Selection criteria for the preservation of e-prints RTF version (2,526kb)
Selection criteria for the preservation of e-prints PDF version (93kb)