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Name of Collaboratory :


International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES 2)


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URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2002 End Date : 2006 Info Last Updated : Tue, Dec 7 2004 4:01am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Distributed Research Center  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Virtual Community of Practice  

Domain(s) :

  Multi-Domain research on Digital Archives methods  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


InterPares2 is a multidisciplinary and international project that aims to develop principles and methods that can ensure the creation and maintenance of accurate and reliable records. It builds upon the work in preservation methodology done in InterPares1 and is largely concerned with the long-term preservation of authentic records in the context of artistic, scientific and government activities in the light of dynamic and interactive computer technology.

The InterPares2 project is organized into national, multi-national, and industry-based research teams. There are research teams in Canada, the United States, Europe (United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, France, Italy, and the Netherlands), Australia, and Asia (China and Singapore) as well as a global industry group that includes CENSA (the Collaborative Electronic Notebook Systems Association).

Major funding for the project has been provided by Canadaís Social Science and Humanities Research Councilís Multidisciplinary Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) programme, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the National Science Foundation of the United States, as well as by other funding agencies and institutions in the countries of the various research teams. In addition to archivists, the research teams include members who are computer scientists, preservation experts, lawyers, and media specialists. It is important to note that with InterPares2, unlike its previous incarnation, the majority of the researchers now tend to be domain knowledge experts rather than archivists or information professionals.

Much of the work of the research is carried out through a series of task forces or research units that roughly correspond to 3 domains, 3 focuses, and 4 cross-domains:
- Record creation & maintainence
- Authenticity, accuracy & reliability
- Methods of appraisal & preservation

- Artistic activities
- Scientific activities
- Governmental activities

- Terminology
- Policy
- Description
- Modeling

Much of the research in the project is done in face to face meetings such as the twice yearly International team meetings and the 2 week long Plenary Workshops. This seems to be necessary due to the diverse nature of the project and the interdisciplinary background of the researchers. However, apart from these workshops, the group utilizes tools made available on the InterPares2 website to continue the research work. In addition, there are various incentive issues that need to be addressed, such as research citations and credits, before individuals from different domains are able to collaborate with each other using technology.


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  The goal of the project is to develop a methodology for the long term preservation of electronic records that can be proven to be authentic. In order to achieve this, the project has to redfine what a digital record is in a dynamic and interactive environment. Thus, one of the main goals of the project is to generate research and develop databases that enable the researchers to redefine the field of electronic records.

At present the following databases are being developed:
- A terminology application was created to bring together several tools necessary to assist researchers, and eventually the public, in using the words and phrases as defined by the Project. Researchers are able submit new terms or phrases, comment on existing ones, propose and comment on definitions, and modify them if required.

- A bibliography application was created to centrally locate all
bibliographical references used by the Project. Again, researchers can create bibliographies, add and remove entries, and annotate any entries as they apply to their own research units.

- A dissemination database was put together to hold all dissemination information for the project. Researchers can add future/past dissemination activities, as well as add future conferences that might interest any InterPARES researcher in several different research areas.

Access to People as Resources :

  The primary work of the project is done mainly through face to face meetings between the researchers from various countries. The following meetings are of note to the project:

- Twice yearly the international team meets to discuss work in progress and findings and to assign tasks and responsibilities to research units.

- Research units also meet for two plenary week-long research workshops to perform research and other activities that require face to face interaction, such as modeling, and to compare and integrate the results of the research activities carried out by the various units in between meetings.

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's Multidisciplinary Collaborative Research Initiative (SSHRC-MCRI)
University of British Columbia

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:
Major funding for The InterPARES Project is provided by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canadaís Multidisciplinary Collaborative Research Initiative (SSHRC-MCRI), and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the National Science Foundation of the United States.
Matching funds are provided by The University of British Columbia's Hampton Research Grant, the Vice President Research Development Fund, the Dean of Arts, and the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies.


Notes on Participants/Organizations:
Being a research project with an international focus, other organizations from around the world have pledged financial resources, contributions in kind, and research talent to the project.

Archives of Ontario
British Columbia Archives
Carleton University
Library and Archives of Canada
McGill University
Nova Scotia Provincial Archives
Ryerson University
Simon Fraser University
The Banff Centre
UniversitÈ Laval
UniversitÈ de MontrÈal
University of Toronto
University of Victoria
University of Windsor

United States
Amigos Library Services
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
Collaborative Electronic Notebook Systems Association (CENSA)
Dreamworks SKG
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Getty Research Institute
National Archives and Records Administration
New York University
San Diego Supercomputer Center
Simmons College
State University of New York, Albany
University of California at Santa Barbara
University of California at Los Angeles
University of Florida
Vassar College
WGBH Educational Foundation
Yale University

Associazione Nazionale Archivistica Italiana, Italy
DAVID Project, Stadsarchief Antwerpen, Belgium
National Archives of Ireland
National Archives of the Netherlands, Netherlands
Subdireccion General de los Archivos, Spain
State Archives of Porto, Portugal
Town of Zaragoza, Spain
United Kingdom National Archives

University of Leuven, Belgium
University of Urbino, Italy

Archives College of Renmin, University of China
Beijing Municipal Archives, China
National Archives of Singapore
National Institute of Japanese Literature, Japan
State Archives Administration of China, China
University of Shizuoka, Japan

Edith Cowan University, Perth
Monash University, Melbourne
State Records Authority of New South Wales, NSW


Communications Technology Used :

  Restricted Access researchers' area contains the following tools for communicating with each other outside of the international team meetings and the plenary workshops:
- Unmoderated List Servs where researchers are able to update work.
- Worksites where research teams that have researchers located around the world can use a work site to submit the answers to these questions. When any member wants to review the progress of the research, they are able to access it immediately.
- subscription based Webconferencing tool which utilizes shared desktops, scheduling online meetings, chat and make online presentations.
- survey tool where researchers are able to conduct online surveys to reach a wider audience.

Technical Capabilities :

  Management of technical resources
Security, Access control/login facilities
Support for transition between synch and asynch
Shared calendars
Asynchronous object sharing
Vetted knowledge based of multiple authors, Common file space
Asynchronous conversation
Threaded discussion
Synchronous object sharing
Data conferencing
Synchronous conversation
Audio, Instant messaging/chat
  Key Articles :  

Duranti, L. (2005). The long-term preservation of accurate and authentic digital data: The INTERPARES project
Data Science Journal, 4, 106-118.


Project-reported performance data :

  84 active interdisciplinary researchers from 25 countries. The researchers are divided up into teams which can be viewed at the following URL

Project was built on the successes of InterPares1(concluded 2001):
- produced conceptual requirements for authenticity, models of the processes of selection and preservation of authentic electronic records
- published book "The Long-term Preservation of Authentic Electronic Records: Findings of The InterPARES Project" San Miniato: Archilab, 2004. (can be found online at

Still too early for successes of project to be reported. Much of the findings from the project are due this year and 2006.
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