MetaArchive Documentation

  • Cooperative Charter
    Outlines the mission, goals, and organizing principles of the MetaArchive Cooperative; lists membership levels; and details the roles and responsibilities in this evolving collaborative paradigm.
  • Membership Agreement
    Describes the terms of the agreement made between members of the MetaArchive Cooperative.
  • Technical Specifications
    An overview of the current recommendations and requirements for administering a preservation cache for the MetaArchive Cooperative, including staffing and hardware.
  • Governance Procedures
    Detailed description of MetaArchive governance including roles, responsibilities, and terms of leadership and committee groups.
  • MetaArchive Trustworthy Digital Repository Audit
    MetaArchive worked with a contract consultant to carry out a Trusted Repositories Audit & Certification (TRAC) self assessment. This checklist report details its conformance and the evidence cited for each criteria addressed.
  • Getting to the Bottom Line: 20 Cost Questions for Digital Preservation
    A list of questions to assist institutions with identifying and comparing short and long-term costs of digital preservation solutions.
  • Digital Preservation Policy Template
    A template to help institutions get started in developing a local digital preservation policy.

Member Workflows

The below workflow maps illustrate the step-by-step processes MetaArchive Cooperative members utilize during their digital curation and preservation activities. These workflows were produced as part of an ongoing project to assist MetaArchive members in documenting the current people, systems, and tools involved in curating and preserving digital content.


Trehub, A., Davis, C., Jordan, M., May, C., Meister, S. (2018). LOCKSS Networks Community-Based Digital Preservation, In J. Myntti & J. Zoom (Ed.), Digital Preservation in Libraries: Preparing for a Sustainable Future (pp. 217-240). Chicago, Ill: ALA Editions.

Hall, N., & Boock, M. (2017, September). Environmental Scan of Distributed Digital Preservation Services and Models: A Collective Case Study. 14th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (IPres 2017), Kyoto, Japan.

Carly Dearborn and Sam Meister Failure as process: Interrogating disaster, loss, and recovery in digital preservation (author submitted version) Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues, 27(2).

Sam Meister and  Gabrielle Michalek Disasters at any scale: The MetaArchive Cooperative’s community-based approach to risk mitigation and disaster preparation in the 21st century. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016.

Guidance Briefs: Preserving & Curating ETD Research Data & Complex Digital Objects (Atlanta: Educopia Instiute, 2016)

U.S. Digital Preservation Collaborations from 1994-2014 State-by-State Overviews (with Christina Drummond). (Atlanta:, Educopia, 2015)

M. Schultz, K. Skinner, and N. Krabbenhoeft, Eds. Guidance Documents for Lifecycle Management of ETDs. (Atlanta: Educopia, 2014)

Guidelines for Digital Newspaper Preservation Readiness. (with Matt Schultz). (Atlanta: Educopia, 2014)

Martin Halbert and Matt Schultz, Digital Preservation of Newspapers: Findings of the Chronicles in Preservation Project, iPRES 2012: The Ninth International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects Conference Proceedings. Jens-Erik Mai, Ed. pp. 262-266.

Nancy McGovern and Katherine Skinner, Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation, (Atlanta, GA: Educopia Institute, 2012)

Gail McMillan, Matt Schultz, and Katherine Skinner, Digital Preservation, SPEC Kit 325, Association of Research Libraries, October 2011.

Tyler Walters and Katherine Skinner, New Roles for New Times: Digital Curation for Preservation (Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, March 2011).

Katherine Skinner and Matt Schultz, Eds., A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation, (Atlanta, GA: Educopia Institute, 2010).

David Minor, Katherine Skinner, and Tyler Walters, Improving and Strengthening Inter-institutional Preservation, 2010 Conference Proceedings from US Workshop on Roadmap for Digital Preservation Interoperability Framework, ACM Digital Library, October 2011.

Emily Gore and Katherine Skinner, The MetaArchive Cooperative: Chronicles in Distributed Digital Preservation, 2010 Conference Proceedings from US Workshop on Roadmap for Digital Preservation Interoperability Framework, ACM Digital Library, October 2011.

Matt Schultz and Emily Gore, The Importance of Trust in Distributed Digital Preservation: A Case Study from the MetaArchive Cooperative, iPRES 2010: the Seventh International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects Conference Proceedings, September 19-24, 2010. (page 105).

David Minor, Mark Phillips, and Matt Schultz, Chronopolis and the MetaArchive Cooperative: Preservation Cooperation, iPRES 2010: the Seventh International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects Conference Proceedings, September 19-24, 2010. (page 249).

Tyler Walters and Katherine Skinner, Economics, Sustainability, and the Cooperative Model in Digital Preservation, Library High Tech, v. 28, no. 2 (2010).

Katherine Skinner and Martin Halbert, The MetaArchive Cooperative: A Collaborative Approach to Distributed Digital Preservation, Library Trends, 57(3), 371-392.

Martin Halbert, Gail McMillan, and Katherine Skinner. Avoiding the Calf-Path: Digital Preservation Readiness for Growing Collections and Distributed Preservation Networks, Archiving 2009 Proceedings, pp. 86-91.

Katherine Skinner and Martin Halbert, MetaArchive: A Cooperative Approach to Distributed Digital Preservation, Against the Grain v. 21, no. 1 (Feb 2009) p. 36-42.

Martin Halbert, Comparison of Strategies and Policies for Building Distributed Digital Preservation Infrastructure: Initial Findings from the MetaArchive Cooperative, 4th International Digital Curation Conference Proceedings (2008).

Tyler Walters, Digital Sustainability: Weaving a Tapestry of Interdependency to Advance Digital Library Programs, in Strategies for Sustaining Digital Libraries (Atlanta, GA: 2008) p. 22-40.


Stephen Patton, William Knauth, & Sam Meister, Local to Global: Community Digital Preservation Collaborations, Digital Preservation 2017, Pittsburgh, PA, October 26, 2017

Cinda May & Deanna Ulvestad, Removing Barriers and Building Bridges: The MetaArchive Cooperative Preservation Network’s Flexible Membership Structure, American Library Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, June 25, 2017

Katherine Skinner, A Preservation CompassASERL Annual Meeting, Durham, NC, December 9, 2016

Katherine Skinner, Communities of Action: Distributed Digital Preservation, APTrust Fall Meeting, Washington, DC, September 2016

Sam Meister, Disasters at any Scale: The MetaArchive Cooperative’s Community-based approach to  Risk Mitigation and Disaster Preparation in the 21st century, IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2016, Columbus, OH, August 14, 2016.

Sibyl Schaefer, Mary Molinaro, Katherine Skinner, Chip German, David Pcolar, Sam Meister, The Dark Side of Digital Preservation: Distributed Digital Preservation, Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting 2016, Atlanta, GA, August 6, 2016.

Sam Meister, MetaArchive Cooperative: Case Study in Collaboration, 2º Seminário de Preservação Comum de Património Digital, Lisbon, Portugal, June 21-22, 2016.

Deanna Ulvestad & Sam Meister, Preservation as a Process, MetaArchive and Distributed Digital Preservation, OhioDIG Meeting, Columbus, Ohio March 9, 2016.

Sam Meister, Preservation as a process: The MetaArchive Cooperative and Distributed Digital Preservation, CurateGear 2016, Chapel Hill, NC, January 14, 2016.

Research & Development

Distributed digital preservation methods and implementations continue to evolve across the libraries, archives, and museum fields. The MetaArchive Cooperative continues to engage in research and development activities with member institutions and other partners to advance digital preservation practices.

ETDplus (2014-2017)
Funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, ETDplus builds on the momentum of the Lifecycle Management of ETDs project to research and build tools to help manage a growing challenge in ETD programs: the creation and submission of materials beyond the PDF of a thesis or dissertation. More »

Chronicles II: Born Digital News Preservation (2014-2015)
With funding from National Endowment for the Humanities, Chronicles II brought together representatives from critical stakeholder communities (newspaper publishers, press associations, journalism schools, and memory organizations) into structured conversation and debate to foster better understandings of each group’s perspectives, goals, and barriers to collaborative work for the purpose of preserving born-digital newspaper content. More »

IMLS ETD Lifecycle Management (2011-2013)
The Institute for Museum and Library Services is providing funding to enable MetaArchive to study and address the preservation and curation challenges presented by Electronic Theses and Dissertations collections. More »

NEH Chronicles in Preservation (2011-2013)
Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Chronicles project will study, document, and model the use of data preparation and distributed digital preservation frameworks to collaboratively preserve digitized and born-digital newspaper collections. More »

NHPRC Sustainable Preservation (2008-2011)
Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission enabled MetaArchive to transition from a project to an ongoing, sustainable program.

NDIIPP Project (2004-2011)
With generous support from the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, MetaArchive became a distributed digital preservation community that fosters and promotes the long-term curation of digital assets.

For Members

Getting Started

  • Meet our Community Facilitator and Leadership Team
  • Review How DDP Works and Resources
  • Talk to the Community Facilitator about:
    • Identifying your institutional representatives and roles
      • Primary Representative: This is the designated MetaArchive voting representative for the organization, and the primary point of contact.
      • Technical Lead: This is the person tasked with coordinating technical work on behalf of the organization, including cache administration (if applicable), web server administration, and ingests.
      • Invoicing Contact: This is the primary contact for invoicing for membership and storage fees.
    • Sharing your contact info
    • Subscribing to our communications
    • Requesting access to tools and documents
    • Scheduling a technical orientation
    • Joining our calls and Committees


  • Follow us on Twitter @metaarchive
  • Community and Committee listservs:
    • Main list: metaarchive (at) metaaarchive (dot) org
    • Documentation Committee: ma_docs (at) metaarchive (dot) org
    • Technical Committee: ma_technical (at) metaarchive (dot) org
    • Outreach and Membership Services Committee: ma_outreach_comm (at) metaarchive (dot) org
  • Technical support: support (at) or techsupport (at) metaarchive (dot) org
  • Community Facilitator: support (at) educopia (dot) org


MetaArchive Documentation

How to Access and Use Google Drive