Preserving Peru’s culture and heritage
The Archivo General de la Nación (AGN) is a public institution attached to the Ministry of Culture that protects and preserves the documents of the most important events that took place in Peru since the 16th century.
The AGN regulates, administers and designs the national policy regarding the protection and preservation of the documentary heritage of the nation and coordinates the actions necessary for the functioning of the archive.
The AGN also provides standards, technical provisions and coordinates the operation of the National Archives System. Through this system and the professionals who work in it, very valuable information is made available to the national and international community, promoting scientific research.
With the increasing use of digital technologies in the AGN, some unique and valuable digital content is in danger due to of the lack of a trusted solution for the preservation—providing a similar level of security as the physical records.
To solve this challenge, the AGN is identifying solutions that allow the preservation and accessibility of information in the long-term. To do this, it adheres to digital preservation recommendations, such as the adoption of standard formats, the recording of the production process and the identification of digital objects, as well as monitoring the backup and migration of information.
In particular, the content must be preserved in line with the OAIS as well as supportive of electronic file transfers received by the institution, in its capacity as the future national digital repository (Digital Government Law, Legislative Decree 1412).
However, technological obsolescence in terms of storage media and technologies, as well as ways of recreating information, are permanent considerations, that have financial implications. As such, the AGN wanted a long-term solution, with stable, sustainable investment ensures the information is securely stored now and protected for the future.
The interesting thing about the solution offered by Piql is that it mixes an analogue support, whose stability is proven, with the demands of data preservation and the resources that have been used in its production, following standards that facilitate future accessibility.
Nicolás Díaz | Conservation manager of Archivo General de la Nación, Perú
The AGN was attracted to Piql’s solution of long-term digital preservation, offering a secure and sustainable way of keeping the data alive well into the future.
In addition to having immediate access to information, offered through online solutions, the AGN wanted to ensure the safe keeping of information over time, with stability and integrity as well as versatile data recovery.
Piql’s digital preservation solution, utilising photographic film, longevity tested to be over 1000 years, has the added benefit of keeping the information secure from online threats.
As the first step in the project, the AGN has begun a pilot project with Piql to evaluate and confirm the benefits, advantages, and sustainability of the solution. The AGN is optimistic that Piql’s solution can help them achieve their mission of keeping the Peru’s digital heritage safe while ensuring access in the future.
In the pilot project, the AGN selected some important digitised content, including the oldest Peruvian document, the Protocolo Ambulante de los Conquist adores (Conquerors Traveling Protocol called “Libro Becerro”) as well as Santa Maria Collection and XVI Century Notary Protocols. These documents are included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World, and are declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.
This project is significant as the AGN a reference for best practice procedures for archival administration in public sector and, by extension, guides the private and public sectors in general.
As this exploration job has been a success, AGN will initiate a deeper collaboration with Piql to define the preservation model and applications needed to achieve the high-quality goals defined by the AGN directorate.
In addition, a deposit in the Arctic World Archive will be made in the near future of a second copy of the f irst documents preserved in Piql and ensure, even more, the life and accessibility of some of the most important digital contents of Peru Heritage.