In the cloud: NSW State Library and AC3 preserving the State’s history for the future

Image of interior of NSW State Library

The Customer

Established in 1826, the State Library of New South Wales is a world class reference and research facility, a centre of digital excellence and home to a collection of more than five million items valued at more than $2.1 billion.

The Library is creating, managing and preserving digital material on a scale never before seen in Australia, beginning with its most iconic, fragile, at risk and highly-valued collections. Over 20 million images or pages are being digitised progressively, from Captain Cook’s journal and 1,400 World War I diaries, to more than 6 million pages of NSW newspapers and 10,000 plus hours of sound recordings.

The Challenge

The State Library’s old legacy systems were neither future-proofed nor optimised for its new digital strategy. It needed to revitalise its storage and asset management systems and undertake a complete renewal of the underlying infrastructure and systems.

The Library selected a suite of Ex Libris library and digital asset preservation and management solutions to replace its multiple legacy systems. To enable these new systems to be implemented quickly, it needed to rapidly commission a public and private cloud virtual infrastructure.

The Solution

AC3 delivered an integrated platform for library and archive management, digital preservation and user discovery.

AC3 designed and rapidly deployed the complete infrastructure foundation that the Library required to host its new Ex Libris systems, creating a virtual environment deployed onto public cloud services provided by AC3 at the NSW Government Data Centre (GovDC).It took just four weeks to get the initial platform up and running in readiness for the Ex Libris library system with most of this time spent on design, not deployment.

The design of the green field build was critical to the project’s success. AC3 worked in close collaboration with its client and project partners: the Library’s IT team and Ex Libris application developers in Israel, via a secure Internet connection through AC3’s public cloud.

The Library also required a private cloud for a separate database technology. Commissioning the private cloud required a specialist equipment order, potentially delaying the project. AC3 eliminated any threat to the project timeframe by establishing the private cloud inside its public cloud as a temporary measure. This was then moved out once the necessary equipment arrived.

The Results

AC3’s solution gave the State Library the foundation it needed to deploy revitalised storage and management systems for its valuable digital assets.

AC3 delivered the public cloud infrastructure in time to meet the critical path for the project. The Library now has the flexibility to expand the platform quickly to meet its evolving needs.

The solution design has enabled the Library to easily create and manage connectivity to the external cloud system, while AC3’s transition plan makes it possible to migrate data and services from the old Library systems, as the new Ex Libris platform came online.

The cloud-based design eliminated complexity for the massive project, while the collaborative and consultative services provided by AC3 meant the Library was able to achieve a project of significant scale with a small in-house IT team of just two people.

The underlying infrastructure support systems ensure its millions of digitised items are preserved permanently. It also helps improve online discoverability of its collections, making it even easier for schools, universities, family historians, researchers and the public to find and use the Library’s unique materials.

The transformation has also enabled the Library to meet its commitment for long-term storage for its archival data at NSW Government data centres.