13. Digital mass storage systems

After extensive pilot projects, digital mass storage systems (DMSS) have been installed in major archives for the storage of large audio collections. Such systems permit the automatic performance of tasks including checking of data integrity, refreshment, and, finally, migration with a minimum use of man power (cf IASA-TC 04, 6.2).

Several sound archive groups (mainly radio archives) have successfully pioneered digital mass storage installations. The driving force was the potential of DMSSs for "eternal" preservation as well as the new dimension of remote access to holdings stored in them. Presently, some national archives and research archives are also about to introduce such systems. Because of the considerable investment costs of today's DMSSs, smaller collections are not able to afford such systems at the moment. However, small and scalable systems are becoming affordable as hardware prices continue to fall. It is anticipated that software prices will also begin to drop thus making automated digital archiving affordable for a large number of archives and collections, and even individuals.