Archive Content & Access

The Archive – An Overview

The Portico archive is a centralized repository of tens of thousands of e-journals, e-books, and other electronic content, replicated to ensure security. Content comes into the archive under formal preservation agreements with publishers. Content providers submit source files to Portico, and we repackage these source files into an archival format and provide long-term archival management and format migration as needed. Our approach is driven by our commitment to meeting clear preservation goals.

The archive is based on source files rather than on presentation or delivery files. Source files—which consist of graphics, text, audio/visual, and other material—are the building blocks for the online and print versions of the scholarly content you see everyday. They may differ from files most typically presented online because they include more information, for example higher quality graphics.

Depending on the delivery formats created by the publisher using these files, capturing source files enables us to deliver both high-quality HTML and PDF versions of the content. Different than using a publisher’s website, the exact look and feel of the HTML rendition and publishers’ value-added features such as e-commerce functions and personalization are not included in the preserved version. A standard look and feel is applied.

We chose to create a “dark” archive to focus our efforts on securing and preserving large volumes of content important to libraries and their users; however, it is not exclusively dark. Participating libraries experience the archive as a “light” or accessible archive in two ways: auditing the archive to ensure we are prepared to support eventual use and accessing of content that has been made available as the result of a “trigger event” or post-cancellation access claim. Unlike many ongoing preservation initiatives, Portico participants and their users experience direct customer support, should they ever need it.

Accessing the Archive

Every library that supports the archive enjoys campus-wide access to preserved content when specific conditions or “trigger events” occur. Participating libraries may also access preserved content for which Portico is fulfilling a post-cancellation access claim. Read more about accessing archived content.

Auditing the Archive

Content providers and a small number of individuals at each participating institution are granted password-controlled access to engage in an independent verification of the Portico archive’s integrity. This auditing privilege is not intended to be used as a replacement for commercial document delivery services or to fulfill inter-library loan requests.