myKive is a research project coordinated by the University of Illinois Archives. We are developing free and open source software that can be used to copy, preserve, and manage personal social media records, email, and desktop files, using a simple web interface.

myKive  seeks to build software and a service that will allow people to generate a trusted, centralized archives of desktop files, social media records, email, and other records of long-term value.  iKive seeks weave existing and/or newly developed open source tools into an integrated package of services, and to make those tools available through this website or that of one of its partners.

The myKive service will allow people to push or pull records and information from email accounts, blogs, facebook pages, twitter feeds, local computers, or other sources that are connected to the internet.  These records will be saved to a redundant, cloud-based server in a standardized, preservable, format.  Regular integrity checks will be run against duplicate copies and the checksums generated at time of file upload.  Content will be stored with sufficient technical and structural metadata to permit its long-term preservation.

For people who subscribe to the service, any records in their account will remain wholly under their control and subject to a strict privacy policy and controls

Configuring connections to exisiting data sources such as email accounts, desktops, and social meda feeds,  and (optionally) defining filters to determing the nature of the content pushed or pulled into the subscriber’s myKive account, the ‘basic’ service would allow people to know that  information important to them is secure, and make it searchable in a unified, faceted online portal.

The service seeks to assist people in controlling their personal digital legacy, providing them an opportunity to preserve it permanently if they or their descendents so choose.  It is based, in part, on ideas articulated by David Bearman in the early 1990s, but never put into effect, and would be an implementation of the type of tool called for by Evan Carroll.

Technically, the service would be:

  • based on very common web standards (PHP, AJAX, REST, JSON)
  • an example of a “lifestreaming” application
  • priced competitively vis-à-vis commercial backup services
  • complaint with digital preservation standards
  • a trusted part of academic community
  • support other digital preservation initiatives (e.g. data stewardship).
  • a complement to institutional repositories and other resources such as DuraSpace

While there is lot to address in a project like this,we are currently conducting technical feasibility tests, as part of a pilot project funded by the University of Illinois Library Innovation Fund.

  • About myKive

    about this project
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