Transformative Effects of NDIIPP, the Case of the Henry A. Murray Archive


This article comprises reflections on the changes to the Henry A. Murray Research Archive, catalyzed by involvement with the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) partnership, and the accompanying introduction of next generation digital library software.

Founded in 1976 at Radcliffe, the Henry A. Murray Research Archive is the endowed, permanent repository for quantitative and qualitative research data at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, in Harvard University. The Murray preserves in perpetuity all types of data of interest to the research community, including numerical, video, audio, interview notes, and other types. The center is unique among data archives in the United States in the extent of its holdings in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed quantitative-qualitative research.

The Murray took part in an NDIIPP-funded collaboration with four other archival partners, Data-PASS, for the purpose of the identification and acquisition of data at risk, and the joint development of best practices with respect to shared stewardship, preservation, and exchange of these data. During this time, the Dataverse Network (DVN) software was introduced, facilitating the creation of virtual archives. The combination of institutional collaboration and new technology lead the Murray to re-engineer its entire acquisition process; completely rewrite its ingest, dissemination, and other licensing agreements; and adopt a new model for ingest, discovery, access, and presentation of its collections.

Through the Data-PASS project, the Murray has acquired a number of important data collections. The resulting changes within the Murray have been dramatic, including increasing its overall rate of acquisitions by fourfold; and disseminating acquisitions far more rapidly. Furthermore, the new licensing and processing procedures allow a previously undreamed of level of interoperability and collaboration with partner archives, facilitating integrated discovery and presentation services, and joint stewardship of collections.