Northumberland estates case study

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Northumberland Estates Case Study

This project set out to survey digital repository options currently available for small to medium organisations with limited resources. The recommendations reached in the final business case reflect the organisational needs of Northumberland Estates and may not align themselves with your own goals. However, the same methodology can be applied using the resources from this case study and the wider Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit.

How-To Information

The following steps are intended to provide guidance on using the outputs created from the Northumberland Estates Case Study. Good luck!

1) Prepare! Gather together any existing literature you may have on the digital preservation problem you want to solve. This may include internal reports, journal articles, or organisational strategies.

2) Identify potential solutions. These options will largely depend on the organisational context you operate in, but it pays to be pragmatic early on. If possible, establish contact with providers and get them to demo their respective system.

3) Fill out the Product Analysis table based on the information you have to hand. This will enable a detailed picture of the functional capabilities of the system on offer. Repeat this process for each individual option identified.

4) Create a simple User Story (example) which gives a brief overview of how the system will fit into existing infrastructure. For example, who is the Designated Community (a requirement for OAIS), and how will they interact with the content you wish to preserve?

5) Use the user story as a basis for completing the ISO 16363 Assessment'. The purpose of this assessment is to compliment the technological aspects by analysing your organisational readiness for digital preservation activity.

6) Congratulations! You have completed a mini Gap-Analysis and should hopefully have a much better idea of what/how to construct your business case.

7) Prepare your business case based on the template provided by the SPRUCE Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit. All the information you need is contained within this excellent resource. You can also have a look at the case studies to see which approach you might take.


A call for help OPF blog post on digital repositories and identifying potential options.

Repository Product Analysis of three potential solutions. These include:

Archivematica (Open Spource, but can also become hybrid when used in conjunction with a storage solution, e.g. Arkivum)

Preservica (Out of the box)

RODA (Open Source).

ISO 16363 Organisational Assessment of Northumberland Estates.

Blank templates for both the Product Analysis and Organisational Assessment. Have a go!

Digital Repository Business Case presented internally within Northumberland Estates and presentation slides.

Final OPF blog post summarising the results of the project and lessons learnt.

Vendor Responses

At the end of the project the three vendors whose systems were assessed (Artefactual Systems Inc., Keep Solutions, and Tessella) were given the opportunity to respond to the conclusions. The following vendor comments are highlighted clearly in a separate vendor response column. The final scores have been kept the same and the comments fall into two categories:

Where the case study has made some assumptions about specific areas of capability in the Comments section, the vendor has confirmed whether this is the case (or not)

Where vendor product literature does not provide sufficient information on specific capabilities, the vendor has confirmed whether this is actually met (or not)

The vendor responses are as follows:

| Archivematica | Preservica | RODA |