Media Vault Program Update

Media Vault Program Update
October 2010

Greetings MVP Stakeholders,

This month brings the completion of the Media Vault Program, as well as the beginning of new initiatives. It also brings a brief extension, through winter break, for the Extensis Portfolio/NetPublish service.

The three-year, grant-funded Media Vault Program comes to a close this fall.  Supported by UC Berkeley’s IT Bank, the MVP has been instrumental in raising issues related to digital asset management and preservation.  Its efforts have addressed fundamental scholarly needs on campus.

The Media Vault Program brought several new services to campus.  Working closely with research and teaching collections, the MVP put in place an innovative digital asset management and archive solution, coupling the notion of long-term preservation with commercially available cataloging and publishing software.  This exploratory offering helped campus collections such as the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the History of Art Visual Resources Collection manage their images, recordings and other electronic holdings, and make these objects available on the Web.  Over the last year, the MVP team took the lessons learned from this work and applied them to the creation of a sustainable content management and collaboration service appropriate for use by the entire campus.  (See ‘Media Hub becoming ‘Research Hub’’, below.)

Equally as important, the MVP created a unique partnership among campus and UC system-wide programs, bringing together the UC Berkeley Library, the campus’s Educational Technology Services and Information Services & Technology organizations, the California Digital Library and others in discussions and workshops about this vital area of academic technology.  Program partners have spawned new initiatives such as the forth-coming Research Hub service, the California Digital Library’s UC Curation Center (see ‘New Services for the UC Community from the CDL/UC3’, below) and significant updates by the campus Library to its GenDB service.  Through these and other initiatives, MVP partners continue to provide help to scholars, even as funding for the Media Vault Program comes to an end.

Increasingly, digital materials form the heart of scholarship.  For the past three years, the Media Vault Program has focused its attention – and the University’s – on the proper management of these resources.  It is a complex and expensive endeavor; developing the means to support scholars will take the concerted efforts of many parties.  The vision of the MVP, and the spirit of collaboration that guided it, must live on!

The Media Hub, the content management and collaboration service piloted this spring by the Media Vault team, has gained a new name on its way to launch.  Rechristened Research Hub, this new service from Information Services & Technology’s Data Services Department is designed to support the needs of campus researchers.  Its URL will be easy to remember:

The Research Hub team is developing terms of service and pricing models in preparation for a limited release this fall.  Look for an announcement soon.

While the final decisions are being made, the underlying hardware and software have been installed, localized, tested and prepared for campus use.  Authentication has been tied to the campus’s CalNet identity management service, so users won’t need a separate password.  Research Hub is in the queue of services awaiting integration with the CalNet Guest Access program; by the end of the semester, partners and colleagues from outside the campus community should be able to work collaboratively with campus scholars, students and staff.

Meanwhile, the Research Hub has been selected as one of the workspace engines behind the Project Bamboo technology proposal.  Over the next 18 months, the Research Hub will be used to prototype workspace features and to test the online workspace requirements of scholars in the Humanities, Arts and interpretive Social Sciences.

The Media Vault Program’s Extensis Portfolio/NetPublish-based service, originally slated to close in October of 2010, has been extended through the end of January 2011, giving MVP pilot participants time to move their collections and catalogs to other platforms.  Thanks to closeout funding from the campus’s IT Bank and the continued generosity of the Library, collection owners will now have until the beginning of spring semester to retrieve their materials.

The Media Vault team will contact participants in the upcoming weeks to help define migration plans.  If you have questions in the meantime, please contact the Media Vault team by email at

The California Digital Library (CDL) has announced two new services for the UC community.  Merritt, the next generation repository service from CDL’s UC Curation Center (UC3) will allow UC3 to extend the reach of its services to new constituencies such as museums, archives, research groups, academic departments and data centers.

Significant features include:
• permanent storage
• access via persistent URLs
• tools for long-term management
• an easy-to-use interface for deposit and updates

EZID (ee-zee-eye-dee) enables persistent identification of and access to a scholar’s research, which is critical to the long-term distribution and availability of the work.  Currently, EZID allows users to acquire DataCite Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) or Archival Resource Keys (ARKs).  CDL plans to add other identifier schemes going forward.  EZID is available via a machine-to-machine programming interface (an API) and as a web user interface.

The Research Hub team is already working with the UC3 team to automate the transfer of content from UC Berkeley to the UC3 Merritt platform.  For more information about Merritt or EZID, please contact UC3 (see contact link, below).

So, the program ends, but the effort continues. It has been a pleasure working with each of you – and will continue to be, in new and different forms of endeavor.
The Media Vault team

Useful Links:
Research Hub (UC Berkeley): (coming)
About: (coming)
Contact: (coming)
Project Bamboo:

Media Vault Team email address:

California Digital Library / University of California Curation Center (UC3):
UC3 contact page:
Merritt webinar:


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