April 12, 2021

ArchiveBox Debuts

As anyone likely knows, the first step to making sure you don’t lose documents or data you want to keep is to back them up. But as you also likely know, hardly any of us do that — at least on any regular basis. This is potentially where ArchiveBox comes in.

This isn’t to say that simple backup is all ArchiveBox strives to do, since services such as Dropbox do that already. As an added service, it analyzes your files “by utilizing file utility tools such as FITS, JHOVE, JHOVE2, DRIOID, and other tools” and then records that information.

Storage is presently handled by Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), although one wonders why Amazon’s much less expensive Glacier service isn’t used instead.

As it stands now, ArchiveBox is fairly simple in the services it provides and yet it can be complicated to setup unless you’re already an Amazon Web Services user. But since this is a project of the University of Arizona Library, I’m thinking it is just the first release of a tool that will likely have much more to offer in terms of preservation services. An interesting first release, in other words, and worth keeping an eye on, but I’m not yet sold on the service-to-pain ratio.

Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.