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Harvard's Perspective on the Archive Ingest and Handling Test (11 Dec 2005)
In general, the test proceeded smoothly along the lines defined in the project proposal. There were no major difficulties that necessitated significant changes to the original HUL project plan. The test provided HUL with important information regarding potential changes to its Digital Repository Service that will increase its ability to accept a wider range of digital resources generated by agents and processes beyond HUL's control or influence. JHOVE proved to be a fundamentally important infrastructure component, used by all project participants for the automated validation of content files, extraction of technical metadata, and generation of repository-compliant SIPs. The format migration process was fully automated once the appropriate codec specifications were developed. Our results suggest that for images, effective post-transformation QA testing can be performed in an automated manner.

All AIHT participants successfully completed all required project phases, thus, the project was successful in validating a key assumption of the evolving National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP) infrastructure [13]: namely, that significant bodies of digital content can be transferred without loss between institutions utilizing radically different preservation architectures and technologies. However, the scaling problems uncovered during the project underscore the importance of identifying and deploying robust tools and protocols in preservation workflows. In general, the limiting factor in large-scale data transfer appears to be the number of objects, rather than their individual or total size. This suggests that appropriate SIPs and DIPs for such transfers should be arbitrarily nestable container objects. The design of such objects would be a fruitful area for collaborative standardization within the digital library and preservation communities.
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