The mission of the MetaArchive Cooperative is to foster better understanding of distributed digital preservation methods and to create enduring and stable, geographically dispersed “dark archives” of digital materials that can, if necessary, be drawn upon to restore collections at Member organizations.

Operating Principles

  • Encourage and support the long-term preservation of digital content;
  • Promote a cooperative, robust, and decentralized approach to digital preservation;
  • Encourage archives, libraries, research institutes, museums, and other such organizations to build their own preservation infrastructures and knowledge rather than outsourcing this core service to external vendors;
  • Encourage the growth of Private LOCKSS Networks for preserving copies of replicated content in secure, distributed locations over time;
  • Maintain a minimal overhead and straightforward mechanisms for collaboration;
  • Administer services that have wide applicability to a range of organizations and digital content;
  • Utilize and create open standards and systems;
  • Ensure that digital materials are stored and maintained in migratable formats and data structures;
  • Promote and support high standards for preservation metadata capture;
  • Undertake research and development projects to advance digital
    preservation best practices


In 2004, six libraries in the southeastern United States banded together to develop a digital preservation solution for their special collections materials. The outcome of that collaboration was MetaArchive, a community-owned, community-led initiative comprised of libraries, archives, and other digital memory organizations. Working cooperatively with the Library of Congress through the NDIIPP Program, we have achieved what none of us could have alone: a secure and cost-effective repository that provides for the long-term care of digital materials – not by outsourcing to other organizations, but by actively participating in the preservation of our own content.


Founded by six research libraries through a project with the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure & Preservation Program


Transitioned from a grant-funded project to a sustainable organization under the auspices of Educopia Institute


Awarded $300,000 by the NHPRC to plan for sustainability, both organizational and technical


Expanded to become an international distributed digital preservation network with preservation nodes on three continents


Awarded $300,000 by the NEH to address thorny technical and social challenges in digital news preservation


Celebrated 10 years of successful preservation network activity with more than 60 member institutions


Produced the “ETD+ Toolkit” under a $250,000 IMLS-funded project to help institutions prepare and support students to manage their digital legacies



Membership in the MetaArchive Cooperative is open to any organization whose activities and objectives are consistent with MetaArchive’s mission and principles. We encourage you to contact us with any questions about the cooperative.

  • Auburn University

  • Boston College

  • California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • Consorci de Serveis Universitaris de Catalunya

  • Greene County Public Library

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities Library Alliance

  • Indiana State University

  • InDiPres

  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  • Ohio Univerisity Libraries

    Ohio University

  • Oregon State University

  • Penn State University

  • Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro

  • Purdue University

  • Rockefeller Archive Center

  • University of Louisville

  • University of North Carolina Greensboro

  • University of North Texas

  • University of South Carolina

  • Virginia Tech University

  • Washington Research Library Consortium

  • Williams College


The MetaArchive Cooperative is an independent, international membership association administered by the Educopia Institute. The Cooperative’s purpose is to support, promote, and extend the MetaArchive approach to distributed digital preservation practices.


MetaArchive Cooperative members drive all governance decisions through their participation in the Steering Committee and targeted committees.

Strategic Directions

The MetaArchive Cooperative Strategic Directions 2018-2021 document outlines a three-year organizational work plan for the community. 

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the governing body of the MetaArchive Cooperative. It is responsible for overall management, coordination, communication, and reporting efforts. The Steering Committee consists of one representative from each Sustaining Member.

  • Anna Craft
  • michaelboock
    Michael Boock
    Oregon State University
  • Julia Corrin
    Carnegie Mellon University
  • Carly Dearborn
    Purdue University
  • Nathan Hall
    Virginia Tech University
  • Rachel Howard
    University of Louisville Libraries
  • Cinda May
    Cinda May
    Indiana State University Library
  • Nathan Tallman
    Penn State University Libraries
  • Paige Walker
    Paige Walker
    Boston College


The MetaArchive Cooperative maintains several committees on various schedules (monthly, quarterly, as-needed) that are tasked with strengthening the capacity and operations of the preservation network and the membership community.

Membership Services Committee

The Membership Services Committee is responsible for addressing the needs and concerns of current members, reviewing reasons former members left the organization, and gathering information about members’ experiences in order to promote improvement in member-relations and aid in long-term retention. In addition, the Committee facilitates orientation and liaison assignment for institutions and employees new to MetaArchive.

Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee is responsible for prioritizing, planning, developing, and evaluating strategies for deepening engagement across the Cooperative’s membership, and making prospective members more aware of MetaArchive’s distinctive approach to community-driven digital preservation.

Technical Committee

The Technical Committee is responsible for developing and maintaining technical specifications and coming to agreements on hardware, software, and networking protocols, overall server architecture, application development, and software maintenance.