About the DRI
The Digital Repository of Ireland is the national trusted digital repository for Ireland's social and cultural data. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools. As a national e-infrastructure for the future of education and research in the humanities and social sciences, DRI is available for use by the public, students and scholars.
The Digital Repository of Ireland is built by a research consortium of six academic partners working together to deliver the repository, policies, guidelines and training. These research consortium partners are: Royal Irish Academy (RIA, lead institute), National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), and National College of Art and Design (NCAD). DRI is also supported by a network of academic, cultural, social, and industry partners, including the National Library of Ireland (NLI), the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) and RTÉ. Originally awarded €5.2M from the Higher Education Authority PRTLI Cycle 5 for the period of 2011-2015, DRI has also received awards from Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, The European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Ireland Funds, and has extended its funding out to 2019.
We at the Digital Repository of Ireland believe our national mandate is best achieved through partnership, so we are building relationships and collaborations with national and international centres of excellence in digital preservation, and with the owners and custodians of cultural and social content.
The Digital Repository of Ireland is an interactive trusted digital repository for contemporary and historical, social and cultural data held by Irish institutions.
The Digital Repository of Ireland links together and preserves the rich data held by Irish institutions, providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools.
DRI is an educational resource used by the public, students and scholars, and will provide preservation and access services for our stakeholders and partners.
DRI acts as a focal point for the development of national guidelines and policy for digital preservation and access.
DRI and Digital Preservation
The Digital Repository of Ireland is committed to the long-term preservation of deposited assets. Trusted preservation is at the core of DRI’s mandate, and has informed the project’s requirements from the beginning. The repository’s commitment to digital preservation best practices is informed by ISO16363 and the Data Seal of Approval (DSA), and supported by extensive international research into the practices of exemplary existing national repositories.
The DRI infrastructure includes a separate preservation workflow that segregates archival assets from their access and discovery surrogates. At ingest, the asset is packaged with its metadata and manifests. This metadata contains all the information necessary for it to be restored should the application and/or infrastructure be destroyed. Additionally, the package is versioned: when an asset is updated, the old version is kept and the new version is added to the package, so that no files are deleted.
Storage and Testing
Packages are stored on separate logical groupings of storage media that are fault tolerant, self-healing and geo-replicated, ensuring that packages are always available and resistant to disk failures.The The packages are then stored offline in secure magnetic tape archives. All storage media will be encrypted, rotated and tested for defects. An integrity process external to the DRI application will continuously test archive packages, recalculating the checksums of all assets, and comparing them to the stored manifest. Should a discrepancy be found, an alert is generated and data recovery procedures are undertaken.
Open Source Software and Best Practices
The DRI infrastructure is underpinned by best practices in web application and repository design. Upon launch, complete disaster and data recovery procedures will be in place, such as rapid application redeployment using configuration management systems. The servers, infrastructure and application utilise open source software, such as Linux, Fedora Commons and MySQL, and follow security guidelines, including up-to-date patching.
Finally, these practices, policies and procedures are continually reviewed and updated to reflect new repository features, and future standards in data preservation.changes in international best practice.
Work Packages & Deliverables
The work programme of the DRI is divided into ten work packages organised into four strands. Each package has an institutional lead partner to co-ordinate and drive the research. Each strand has an overall co-ordinating committee to ensure that work across related work packages is consistent with the desired aims and objectives of the project.