Transport for London: Safeguarding the Digital Memory with the help of Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Monday 25 April 2016
6.30pm - 8.00pm

BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

BCS Members £6, Non-Members £18, Students £6.00 with Buffet including VAT@20%,
Without buffet - free to BCS Members and Students, £12 including VAT@20% for Non Members


Whilst its current incarnation dates only from 2000, Transport for London is actually the latest in a line of organisations dating back to 1855 with responsibility for transport services in the capital. As such, it's physical archives hold over 150,000 files of material dating from the 17th century through to the modern day.

There have always been and will continue to be challenges around the capture, preservation, and administration of these physical records. But parchment and paper remain incredibly durable and to a degree it is possible to shut them in a room and find them in a useable condition 400 years later.

The big challenge now facing the Transport for London Corporate Archives is how to capture, preserve and administer born digital records. And whilst the scale of the paper challenge is big, the scale of the digital footprint of TfL is simply enormous. Where is it? What formats is it in? Which are duplicates? How long do we need to keep it for? How can we make sure we can access it in 10, 20, 50, 60 years? All these and more are issues that the TfL Corporate Archives are starting to address.

This talk will look at these issues in greater depth and look at why the use of Preservica and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is part of the solution.

Speaker Biography:

Tamara Thornhill, Corporate Archivist, Transport for London

Tamara joined Transport for London as Corporate Archivist in September 2010, becoming Corporate Archives Manager in September 2015.

Her 10 years’ experience has involved working in archives and records management roles at places as diverse as St George’s Chapel, the Clothworkers’ Company, Diocese of Westminster, Catholic Trust for England and Wales.

At Transport for London she is responsible for the management of a corporate archives collection consisting of over 150,000 files of material, as well as thousands of digital files, dating from the 17th century through to the modern day. In the modern world this increasingly means addressing born digital and digitised material.

In an organisation as large and complex as Transport for London the challenges involved in this are numerous but the risks in doing nothing are enormous. The traditional need to promote accessibility and use is even more acute.

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