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News Release 06-098

Collaboration Will Preserve Digital Research Data

The National Archives and the San Diego Supercomputer Center sign landmark agreement

The National Archives and San Diego Supercomputer Center will preserve national digital data.

The National Archives and San Diego Supercomputer Center will preserve national digital data.

June 29, 2006

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), with concurrence from the National Science Foundation (NSF), have signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides an avenue for preserving some of the nation's most valuable digital research collections. This collaboration marks the first time NARA has established an affiliated relationship for preserving digital data with an academic institution.

In accordance with NARA's mission, the agreement provides for governance of historically valuable federal, presidential and congressional electronic records, as well as other scientific, engineering and research-related digital data collections. The SDSC, an organized research unit of the University of California-San Diego, is a leader in cyberinfrastructure with a national data repository featuring unique large-scale data storage, preservation, management and analysis facilities.

"SDSC has been one of our partners since 1998, and this relationship is evidence of our shared commitment to ensure that our children's great grandchildren have access to the records of our time. Our collaborations have affirmed this shared commitment to NARA's mission," said the Archivist of the United States, Allen Weinstein.

The partnering of NARA, SDSC and NSF comes at a time when the nation's scientists and engineers are seeking to increase U.S. competitiveness and leadership--and when the massive amounts of digital data being generated by researchers, educators and practitioners are demanding new and innovative strategies for digital preservation.

"Advancement and discovery in the 21st century are driven by data," said SDSC Director Fran Berman. "Preserving our most valuable digital assets is critical for leadership and competitiveness in research and education. This unprecedented MOU will lay the groundwork for SDSC to expand and formalize its role as a national data repository and provide a venue for the preservation of valued digital collections from federally sponsored research."

"NARA and SDSC, along with NSF, have a 10-year history of furthering archival storage and data retrieval research. This MOU is a milestone that recognizes those years of collaboration and the benefits from this important effort," said Dan Atkins, director of NSF's Office of Cyberinfrastructure.

The agreement will enable research and education, support national security and emergency preparedness, and catalyze continuing technology research and innovation.


Media Contacts
Richard (Randy) Vines, NSF, (703) 292-7963, email:
Greg Lund, San Diego Supercomputer Center, (858) 534-8314, email:
Rita Cacas, National Archives and Records Administration, (301) 837-1564, email:

Program Contacts
Irene D. Lombardo, NSF, (703) 292-8962, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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