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KeepIt repositories initial survey: UAL Kultur

This is the final entry in our mini-series of four exemplar repository profiles, and it covers the soon-to-be-launchedĀ Kultur arts repository at theĀ University of the Arts, London.

To recap again for new readers, the purpose ofĀ these initial surveys of the exemplar repositories in the KeepIt project is to characterise the repositories not in terms of their digital preservation activity but in terms of factors that will influence possible preservation strategies.

Given the nascent status of the repository, this profile is not as fully formed as the others in the series, and we will return to complete it as and when we have access to evaluate the repository.

For some background on how the Kultur repository fits into this institution, seeĀ Andrew Gray’s report on Environmental assessment of UAL for the Kultur project (8 April 2008).

Current status of repository

Due to be embedded institutional service at UAL, launch summer 2009, pre- next academic year.

Was part of the JISC Kultur repository enhancement project to end March 2009, joint with University for the Creative Arts, and with Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

UAL Kultur is also participating in a new 12 month JISCĀ Open Educational Resources project in art, design and media joint withĀ University for the Creative Arts, University of Cumbria and led by the Art Design Media Higher Education Academy subject centre at University of Brighton. This project is expected to contribute teaching and learning content to the UAL repository.


Open access repository for research, and teaching and learning materials.

Drivers are: research assessment needs (REF), requires digital submission; also Arts and Humanities Research Council open access mandate.

Management structure and decision-making, reporting tree

Library director -> Learning resources manager -> Repository manager and assistant.

IR advisory group.

Staffing (no. FTE)

Repository manager and assistant to be appointed pre-launch.

Policy (documentation, e.g. mandate, format policy, retention policy, take down policy?)

IPR is a ‘big part’ of KULTUR, e.g. performance.

Policy has been constructed using OpenDOAR policies tool.

Takedown policy ready to be published.

Planning the repository (formal planning approach?)

Budget (contingency for preservation?)

Infrastructure (institutional, network, etc.)

Internal, embedded

Discussion with IT on service specification, data size limits per item/per researcher

Upgrading servers

Backup provided

Tools, services and support (which v. EPrints?)

KULTUR-customised version of EPrints, includes image, video, audio players.

Storage (current, strategy?)

2TB local storage

Content profile – volume, types, formats (content control?)

No profile available pre-launch.

Informally content is described as 300 records from 100 researchers, with an average of 5 items (digital objects) attached to each record, including images, video, audio and text (pdf).

Mostly mediated deposit.

Growth projections (scaling up?)

Still ‘lots’ of content to be ingested via mediated pipeline.

Future plans for the repository (any major changes planned?)

Requested to store a 50k-item collection.

Digitization of past RAE records likely to increase content to be managed by repository.


  • UAL institutional Kultur repository still to launch
  • Content volumes growing via internal mediation channel; profile unclear
  • Audio-visual, multimedia content introduces complexity in IPR

Proposed actions

  • Review this profile once the new repository can be accessed (more unknowns than with other exemplar repositories)
  • Generate content profiles when access is possible
  • Investigate effect of multimedia content on IPR, data management and significant properties (what is being preserved: individual digital objects, or the combination, i.e. performance, of those objects?)
  • Consult on upgrade to EPrints v3.2 when available; need to assess effect of customisations on EPrints upgrades

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Preserving arts repositories: exceedingly good slides - Diary of a Repository Preservation Project linked to this post on June 23, 2009

    […] bring new challenges in terms of managing data today and tomorrow, and it’s why Kultur is an important exemplar for the KeepIt […]

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