If you build it, will it fly? Criteria for success in a digital repository


  • Kenneth Thibodeau National Archives and Records Administration


International collaborations have produced a standard describing the functions of a digital repository and the characteristics of one that can be trusted. These results provide an abstract frame of reference for evaluating such repositories, but meaningful evaluation requires that they be supplemented by empirical data on the purpose of each repository and the institutional, cultural and resource context in which it operates. Informed evaluation will consider how a repository balances the competing objectives of preservation and dissemination, whether it is defined primarily in terms of a community of producers or a community or users, and the extent to which it operates in isolation or in collaboration with other institutions.

Author Biography

Kenneth Thibodeau, National Archives and Records Administration

Director, Director, Electronic Records Archives