The Chronopolis Project: A Grid-based Archival Digital Preservation Solution


The long-term preservation of digital research data is one of the key emerging challenges of research cyberinfrastructure. This case study examines Chronopolis, a Library of Congress-sponsored demonstration solution that is a centrally managed, grid-based, federated service offering deep archiving preservation for participating data owners. Partners include the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Libraries, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). Though Chronopolis is not a mature production service, the partners are developing the appropriate policy, funding, and technical frameworks to support a sustainable service, and our case study illustrates one form emerging data preservation tools might take. We present Chronopolis from multiple perspectives: its digital preservation framework, its project sponsor, its partner organization, its user community, and its preparations for self-sustainability. This case study is published in conjunction with ECAR's 2009 research study Institutional Data Management in Higher Education, which examines how higher education institutions are facing the challenges of institutional data management in terms of quality, stewardship and governance, analytics, content and records management, and research data management.

Citation for this work: Pirani, Judith A., and Donald Z. Spicer. “The Chronopolis Project: A Grid-based Archival Digital Preservation Solution” (Case Study 1, 2010). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research, 2010, available from

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