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100 Years of History Digitally Stored and Shared

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Few may know that within the depths of the Hoover Institution, is a “Smithsonian-like” environment, where treasures from the past 100 years have been physically archived, digitally transformed, and made accessible to researchers around the world.

Housed in what’s known as the Hoover Institution Digital Repository, you’ll find more than 55,000 digitized posters, photographs, manuscripts, moving images, and sound recordings. These treasures are a collection of historical materials that document global, social, economic, and political change in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

With the repository surpassing 40 terabytes (TB) in size — that’s more storage than about 80 desktop computer hard drives combined! — the Hoover Institution enlisted University IT (UIT) to move the data into an enterprise-class storage solution that more safely preserves the collection.

The big move

UIT Data Center
UIT Hosting Services manager Lucrecia Kim-Boswell oversaw the equipment installation in preparation for migrating 40 TB of historic data.

The process of moving large amounts of historical data was no simple task. Over the course of a few weeks, UIT’s Enterprise Infrastructure Services team led the data migration process, while the Hosting Services team handled the equipment installation in the UIT Data Center in Forsythe Hall.

“From preparing the hardware and physically moving drives to enabling network connections and migrating data, teamwork between UIT and Hoover staff made the transition a success,” said Haedar Raad Hadi, Hoover Institution system administrator.

Bringing the past into the future

Storing these digital assets using UIT’s data storage services will benefit Hoover staff and the research community in a number of ways, including:

  • Increased storage capacity for the growing data collection
  • Data redundancy, or data storage in multiple environments as a safeguard in the event of a major disaster
  • More secure access options for Hoover staff and researchers

An additional win is resource efficiency: Hoover staff will no longer have to take care of on-premise technology maintenance.

Beyond the tangible benefits, Enterprise Infrastructure Services manager Ikenna Anyaso added his regard for the partnership with the Hoover Institution.

“I love this kind of UIT partner collaboration,” Anyaso said. “Not only are we providing a reliable solution for our client, but we get to be stewards of data that will live on much longer than our lifetime.”

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