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"Fight digital dementia" – The City of Cologne launches a long-term archive for digital data

DiPS.kommunal now available to all NRW municipalities

(17.03.2017 - Bonn/Cologne) The City of Cologne kicked off operations of its new long-term archive for digital data, called DiPS.kommunal. The solution is intended to fight "digital dementia" and is now available to all municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Based on software developed by SER and HP, it was designed and implemented together with partners from the Office for Data Processing, the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne, the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) and the Data Center Network KDN.


The volume of electronic data and documents is growing rapidly in the public administrations of municipalities. Documents must be archived for many years and made available to future generations. With DiPS.kommunal, the City of Cologne and LWL have created a long-term archive solution for the municipalities of NRW. "The municipalities are legally obligated to permanently store documents. Thanks to the solution, they are able to fulfill this obligation," says Professor Andreas Engel, Head of the Office for Data Processing at the City of Cologne. The Digital Preservation Solution (DiPS.kommunal) is now available in Cologne and throughout the state. The LWL in Muenster and the City of Cologne are operators and storage locations for the long-term archive.

"Together with its partners, SER designed an affordable solution that can be used by municipalities of all sizes. DiPS.kommunal is the product of a joint project with HP. It is now available as a standard, multitenant product with short launch and roll-out times. No special IT know-how is necessary," comments Sven Behrendt, Managing Director of SER eGovernment Europe GmbH.

Ceremony at the City of Cologne: DiPS.kommunal to fight "digital dementia"

The partners of the project emphasized the importance of the new long-term archive for the municipalities of NRW at the official ceremony that was held in the council hall of the City of Cologne. In his opening speech, Mayor Andreas Wolter called the new long-term archive an important instrument for fighting digital dementia. Beate Möllers from the NRW Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports warned of the "age without memory" and stressed the political obligation to secure the digital cultural heritage of North Rhine-Westphalia by creating the necessary IT infrastructure. Dr. Marcus Stumpf, Head of the LWL Archive Office for Westphalia, presented the work of the development team. Representatives from the Office for Data Processing and from the Historical Archive talked about the functionalities of the solution.

DiPS and DiPS.kommunal

The development team "DiPS.kommunal", comprised of the LWL IT Service department, the LWL Archive Office for Westphalia, and the City of Cologne's Office for Data Processing and the Historical Archive, operates DiPS.kommunal as a joint solution in their computer centers. The team also offers comprehensive consultation and support. Audit-proof data storage is provided in a fail-safe, redundant IT infrastructure. Municipalities interested in taking part in DiPS.kommunal can do so through KDN, the umbrella organization for municipal IT service providers.

The electronic long-term archive for municipal archives in NRW, DiPS.kommunal, is a multitenant further development of the long-term archive solution DiPS. This basic version of the solution was originally developed by the companies SER and HP for the German Federal Archives and the City Archive of Stuttgart. DiPS is now also deployed in the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne, in the LWL Archive Office for Westphalia, and in the State Archives of NRW and Rhineland-Palatinate.

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