JFK Presidential Library Launches New Cloud-Based Archive

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-01-13 Print this article Print

title=Four Major Sponsors Key to the Project}

EMC, Iron Mountain, Raytheon and AT&T are the key corporate sponsors. All have donated financially and materials-wise to the project.

EMC donated the original Celerra storage array four years ago to get the project started and has upgraded the equipment since then; Iron Mountain's digital archiving and backup software and services, Raytheon's connectivity hardware and services, and AT&T's Web hosting and data security also are in the mix.

JFK Library Digital Archivist Erica Boudreau, who oversaw the beginning of the digital archive project in 2006, told eWEEK that the project began with a single EMC Celerra array that provided about 10TB of capacity.

"We used [EMC's] Application Extender for metadata capture and management," Boudreau told eWEEK. "We later migrated to Documentum [an EMC division]. The handling of metadata [descriptions of the photos, videos, etc.], which is very important to us, was improved a lot."

The Website and cloud storage system uses the Endeca search engine (which currently is deployed by NewEgg.com and Time.com) and has a redundant mirror backup system at Iron Mountain for disaster recovery purposes, Fitzpatrick said. Digital tape backup is used only for SQL server backup, he added. Video is streamed from a third-party cloud service.

The Kennedy Library's research facilities in Boston are among the most referenced of presidential libraries. Its archives currently total more than 8.4 million pages of Kennedy's personal, congressional and presidential papers. Additionally, there are some 40 million pages from more than 300 other individuals who were associated with the Kennedy administration.

The physical archives also hold more than 400,000 photographs, 9,000 hours of audio recordings, 7.5 million feet of motion picture film and 1,200 hours of video recordings. The digitization efforts are ongoing, and additional material will be added to the archive as it is scanned and described.

JFK clearly saw the future of IT

JFK himself was prescient about the impact of IT--even though computers were still in their infancy in the early 1960s.

In 1961, he was asked at a press conference whether he would consider putting his official papers in Washington D.C., rather than in his home town as previous presidents have done, so as to make them more accessible to scholars and historians who come to Washington to work at the Library of Congress and other agencies.

In his response, the president spoke of a future where, "through scientific means of reproduction ... and this will certainly be increased as time goes on, we will find it possible to reproduce the key documents so that they will be commonly available."

The president certainly had it right.

Go here to view a YouTube video about the new archive.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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