Blog / 15 Nov, 2018

University of Highland and Islands on the path to Digital Excellence with Preservation and Safeguarding

The University of Highlands and Islands has selected Arkivum Perpetua to preserve and safeguard archive materials and research data across a vast region that stretches from Shetland to Argyll. Arkivum will give Scotland’s newest university the expert guidance and system capabilities needed to preserve and safeguard its growing research and archival data.

The Need

“The University of the Highlands and Islands is Scotland’s newest university, and we’re already finding challenges in handling our growing volumes of research data and archive materials,” says Ruth Priest, Academic Librarian. “We’re a widely-dispersed partnership of colleges and research institutes, and each institution has a significant amount of autonomy. We want to encourage proactive staff who are setting up their own archives locally, while putting in place more central oversight to comply with funding requirements.”

From the earliest days of the university, online learning has been very important. “Our higher education provision is largely delivered through virtual learning and video conferencing,” says Ruth. “Online learners may need access to all of our archive materials and research data, whether they’re in a library in Fort William or a lighthouse in the Orkney Islands”

The Solution

The university sees Arkivum Perpetua as crucial in supporting these challenges. Arkivum Perpetua is a digital preservation and archival safeguarding solution designed with the needs of higher education in mind. “It scales from entry level to the largest collections, making it ideal for the University of the Highlands and Islands as it manages its accelerated growth at this critical stage,” says Paula Keogh, Vice President and Sector Lead for Higher Education at Arkivum.

The combination of research and archival capabilities is also crucial. “It’s vital for universities like The University of the Highlands and Islands to use an archiving solution compliant with RDM regulations,” says Paula, “and the value of using the same solution for both research and archiving lies in the economies of scale it delivers and single user platform it provides for students.”

“We need the best technologies available to overcome our geographical challenges” says Ruth. “Arkivum can take care of all our data in one place, while giving us the flexibility to deliver it to learners, researchers and staff dispersed across such a huge area.”

Arkivum Perpetua provides the fully-hosted solution needed to support  the university and align with its IT strategy. “We’re a young university with small teams, and we don’t have the resourcing to run a vast infrastructure – it’s simply not sustainable,” says Ruth. “We’ve been very satisfied with Arkivum up to now and their guidance and expertise have already proven invaluable.”

About University of Highlands and Islands

The University of Highlands and Islands is a distinctive partnership of 13 independent and locally-based colleges and research institutions with 40,000 students. Our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum – all enriched by the people, natural environment, economy, culture and heritage of the Highlands and Islands and its communities. Our curriculum portfolio across both further and higher education is designed to meet current and future local and regional needs and to attract other students to the Highlands and Islands to study.

Emma Davenport

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