The benefits of COPPUL’s digital preservation services

June 11, 2018

June 15, 2018 – As a consortium, COPPUL exists to build community infrastructure and capacity in aid of its members. Recently, several for-profit digital preservation service providers have started to market consortia-focused products and services. While digital preservation represents a huge challenge for most libraries and archives, COPPUL now offers a unique suite of solutions, strengthened by the many benefits of contributing to open, sustainable initiatives that reinvest in the community.

At COPPUL, we understand that there’s a big difference between digital preservation tools that come and go as technologies change, and the sustained efforts required to ensure that our communities have ongoing access to the information that matters to them. We understand that investing in open technologies and systems increases our ability to manage information over the long-term by enabling greater transparency and moderating against the effects of proprietary lock-in. And we understand that there is no such thing as a turn-key solution for digital preservation. It takes a community to tackle the grand challenges associated with preserving digital information for future generations, and through our investments in the COPPUL Digital Stewardship Network (CDSN), we help build and support community-based digital preservation infrastructure in the region and across the country.

From repository services, to preservation processing, to highly-distributed, world-class preservation storage, COPPUL’s range of digital preservation offerings are built around open technologies, collaboration, and transparency. They are state-of-the-art, affordable, and flexible, with any revenues generated returned to the community for future investments.

Many COPPUL members are familiar with the challenges related to a commercial publishing model that is not sustainable and is threatening long-term access to research. We encourage our members to tackle their core curatorial responsibilities using community developed open infrastructure, working together to address sustainability while maintaining ownership of our content.

Some of the services that the COPPUL Digital Stewardship Network offers include:

  • Arca: In partnership with BC ELN, an affordable next-generation repository service based on the open-source platform Islandora, governed in a transparent way by and for the Arca community, and hosted on non-commercial cloud infrastructure at Simon Fraser University.
  • Archivematica-as-a-Service: In partnership with Artefactual Systems and the University of British Columbia, COPPUL’s Archivematica service offers affordable, standards-based preservation processing using open source platforms, hosted on non-commercial cloud infrastructure at UBC Vancouver with geo-redundant backup of all key data in Kelowna, BC. Pricing and agreement terms are open and available.
  • WestVault: A community-led, highly distributed preservation storage service using the open-source LOCKSS platform, with support from Stanford University Libraries. Five independently administered storage nodes actively monitor and repair critical digital content. Hosted on non-commercial cloud infrastructure at UBC, University of Alberta, University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Manitoba. Governed by and for the COPPUL community.

More about COPPUL and the COPPUL Digital Stewardship Network
COPPUL is a Canadian consortium of 22 university libraries in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. It works to leverage collective expertise, resources, and influence, to increase capacity and infrastructure, and to enhance learning, teaching, student experiences, and research at member institutions. The COPPUL Digital Stewardship Network works to build capacity for digital preservation at member institutions by offering world-class preservation infrastructure, education opportunities and advocacy resources, and by connect local digital preservation activities with regional, national, and international efforts. More information at

For more information, contact the COPPUL Digital Preservation Coordinator:

Corey Davis