Just in time for National Electronic Records Day, which was Oct. 10, the State of Michigan has signed a new agreement to preserve electronic records. Michigan is the first state to sign a contract with Tessella to support the preservation of electronic records with historical value.

The State of Michigan has been seeking solutions for preserving electronic records with historical value since 1977. In June 2012, Tessella announced the availability of its new Preservica digital preservation technology. The State of Michigan decided to use Preservica because it is the only Web-based solution on the market that does not require the installation and customization of software locally. This provides a significant cost-savings to the state over other tools that require the installation, customization and maintenance of technology.

“Our partnership with the DNR and the Michigan Historical Center is another strong example of how our centralized technology service model in state government helps meet the business needs of the agencies we serve” said David Behen, chief information officer for the State of Michigan. “Preserving electronic records will help ensure that future generations have access to historical documents of importance, preserving valuable information about our great state.”

“In the digital age, preservation of electronic records of historic value has become a significant concern,” said State Archivist Mark Harvey. “Preservica will allow us to safely secure a large volume of electronic data, including precinct-level election results, K-12 education data, Michigan Supreme Court briefs and meeting minutes of various public bodies.”

Electronic records are hardware and software dependent. Over time, often within five to 10 years, the technology that was used to create them will become obsolete, especially as manufacturers cease to support older products. Due to this instability, electronic records must be continually migrated to new technology to remain accessible. Each time electronic records are migrated there is a risk that data, functionality and authenticity could be compromised. As a result, Michigan’s history is at risk of disappearing.

Tessella is world leader in digital preservation solutions, technology, consulting and research. Customers in nine countries across three continents rely on its on-premise solution, a technology called Safety Deposit Box (SDB), to preserve their digital information.

Preservica is based on the advanced SDB technology in use at leading national archives and libraries and runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), making the same level of digital preservation service available to businesses, organizations, and memory institutions that need to protect their digital wealth without incurring all the human and capital costs.

Image courtesy Michigan DNR

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