Key developments in Portico’s work: 2023 year in review
As we enter 2024, we are pleased to share the important benefits libraries receive as a Portico participant and provide an update on ways we plan to meet emerging and future preservation needs.
Expanding the digital archive
Portico continues to ingest a growing stream of e-journal, ebook, and digital collection content into the archive. The number of archival units, or items, (e.g., journals, articles, books, newspaper issues, documents) being preserved has grown to 149,820,075, with the number of files being preserved in the Portico archive surpassing 2,509,220,573 in 2023. With 28 journal publishers, two book publishers, and one digital collection added this past year, we now have a total of 1,076 participating publishers and 1,288 libraries supporting the archive.
In addition to our day-to-day work with publishers’ content, we continuously look for ways to build on our expertise in preservation to serve the emerging and future needs of our participants. Much of our work in 2023, described below, was focused on preparing for these changing needs and ensuring that Portico remains a stable, innovative, and sustainable service.
Portico’s research to preserve complex, non-traditional forms of publication
In partnership with NYU Libraries, Portico continues its work on the Embedding Preservability for New Forms of Scholarship project, which is funded by the Mellon Foundation. As with the previous project, Enhancing Services to Preserve New Forms of Scholarship, this work preserves complex, non-traditional forms of publication, including those with embedded audio or video, 3D visualizations, or non-linear modes of navigation. The project involves embedding a small team of preservation specialists into publisher workflows and platform development teams where they make practical suggestions to improve how effectively the final publications can be preserved at scale. The team consists of representatives from NYU Libraries, Portico, University of Michigan Library, and LOCKSS.
They have worked closely with representatives from nine publications and three platforms so far, and feedback is beginning to have an impact on their work. For example, Portico worked closely with the Manifold platform over the summer to help make changes to their export package that would facilitate preservation. The changes were based on the recommendations from the Embedding Preservability research and represent a platform-level change that is a direct result of this work.
Portico’s pilot project to preserve content from underrepresented voices
Portico continues its work on a pilot project to preserve content that is underrepresented in traditional archives. Under this pilot, Portico is preserving four collections in the archive: the Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum, the Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, the Bracero History Archive, and Against All Odds: The First Black Legislators in Mississippi. Portico continues to work with the Emmett Till Memory Project as they begin the next stage of their work, which Portico will play a role in preserving. We continue to focus on identifying new partners and are exploring ways to expand this project.
Portico’s pilot project to preserve at-risk news content
Some members of the community have raised concerns about news preservation. This is because many local news outlets that have published for decades risk closing due to increasing economic pressures. As a result, Portico began a small pilot project with the Columbia Missourian, a local news organization, at the beginning of 2023. In September, Portico successfully added that news organization’s digital content from 2005 to the present to its archive. To test whether this process can be easily repeated, Portico recently started work with a second local news partner, Leader Publications. We are currently working through the same process to preserve their content, and we will use the results of this pilot to determine whether we can design a scalable and sustainable service using this model.
Portico offers a new preservation service for libraries’ digital collections
Libraries all over the world are continuing to digitize their collections, and JSTOR has been working with a growing number of them to make these collections more broadly accessible and useful through JSTOR shared collections. Many libraries want help preserving these materials. Our new service will rely on Portico’s unique preservation infrastructure and expertise to help libraries ensure their digital collections, like their e-journal and ebook collections, are available for decades to come. Learn how to future-proof your digital content and preserve your collections with Portico.
We welcome the community’s input on our work; please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or feedback. We look forward to working with you in 2024.