Special Collections and Archives blog

Getting on TRAC: Trustworthy Repository Audit and Certification at NAU’s Cline Library

Recently, three members (Kelly Phillips, Todd Welch, and Peter Runge) of Special Collections and Archives attended and presented at the Western Roundup in Denver, CO from May 27-30, 2015. The Western Roundup is a joint supra-regional archives conference consisting of the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA), Northwest Archivists (NWA), Society of California Archivists (SCA), and Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists (SRMA).

Phillips, Runge, and Welch presented on the department’s recent internal TRAC audit, which was conducted to assess the trustworthiness of its digital repository. The investigation, and resulting report, used the Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories standard and checklist (ISO 16363:2012) to collect and examine evidence, record findings and observations, and report on the results and recommendations for each area where compliance would be required to achieve external certification. These areas include organizational infrastructure, digital object management, and technical and security risk assessment. Each speaker will address a different area of the report to summarize the findings of the self-audit, discuss proposed recommendations, and provide an update on the new developments since the report came out in Spring 2014 to improve the trustworthiness of the digital archives and establish a solid foundation and framework for the new institutional repository to be managed by Special Collections and Archives.

Runge presented on the organizational infrastructure perspective, specifically on issues of viability, structure, and staffing; preservation policy and planning; financial stability; and software licenses, deposit agreements, and intellectual property. He reported on the administration’s recent efforts to formulate and align policies and planning to increase support for the digital repository.

Welch presented on the report’s findings from the digital object management perspective, describing the evolution of procedures, practices, and workflows implemented in accessioning, storing, preserving, and making accessible the repository content. He discussed the deficiencies identified in the report and describe steps taken to improve the management of digital content

Phillips reported on the technical and security risk assessment perspective, illustrating the importance of technology and security protocols in building the digital archives. She demonstrated how establishing hardware and software documentation, performing cyclical ‘technology watch’ reviews, and instituting solid security practices are critical to ensuring trust among a repository’s designated communities.

The full TRAC report and recommendations is available on the Cline library’s website:


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