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Digital Services Unit


For libraries and archives, the digital content management and preservation landscape is rapidly evolving. As digital projects evolve into digital programs focusing on the mass digitization of entire collections, institutions are faced with ensuring long term accessibility to vast quantities of digital assets. "Most institutions," according to a Portico and Cornell University Library report, "are only beginning to understand that their investment in creating digital collections must be met with a commitment and infrastructure to protect this content for its lifetime." As digital collections grow exponentially, institutions are faced with the challenge of providing continued access as well as long term preservation. The systems and options for the management, presentation, and preservation of digital assets are numerous. Each has its pros and cons, whether an out-of-the-box, vendor-provisioned system, or an open-source application where the source code is free and openly available for use and modification. Some platforms focus on preservation, others on presentation, and still others on content management. Company mergers, upgrades – and even dissolutions – further complicate the problem. Like many mid-sized academic institutions, the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library (AUC Woodruff Library) found itself in need of assessment and consolidation of existing digital content management platforms as digital collections rapidly expand. This article addresses the process this institution undertook to evaluate the digital content management and preservation landscape in order to inform future growth and expansion of its digital program.