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Implementing Change at Columbia University Libraries

Excerpted from: “Sun Microsystems Showcases Open Source Technologies at Educause 2009″ Denver, CO Columbia University Libraries has selected Sun’s Storage Archive Manager (SAM) solution to expand its digital library ( The Libraries is combining the SAM management software with Sun servers and storage and tape technologies to enable a coherent and comprehensive technology infrastructure that will ensure the survival and continued accessibility of its vast collection of materials. Columbia’s Libraries consists of 22 libraries, with over 10 million volumes, 100,000 current journals and serials, and an extensive collection of electronic resources, microforms and other non-print materials, as well as rare manuscripts and books, some dating to the early 19th century.
“We are at a time of extraordinary technological and social change, which we need to implement systems and services capable of supporting 21 st century teaching, learning, research and scholarship. Our goal was to find the right technology vendor to help us build a cost-effective and expandable system to support Columbia’s growing digital collections,” said Robert Cartolano, Director, Library Info Tech Office. “Sun Microsystems provided everything we needed in one place. We were very impressed with their technology model, their commitment to open source and open systems, and their extensive experience in large-scale storage.”
Columbia’s integration of the SAM technology, a combination of StorEdge 6140, 4500 and L500 tape storage media technologies, along with Fedora Commons Repository Software from (an open source project) allows it to remotely locate and manage digital artifacts on three tiers of storage in geographically disparate locations for long-term content preservation. The system was designed with the ability to grow to half a petabyte (500,000,000,000,000 bytes) of information. Columbia is initially using the system to support its institutional repository, located at, and preservation of digital files from existing and upcoming digital library projects.