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The LOCKSS Program is one of the longest-running digital preservation initiatives.

Victoria Reich and Dr. David S.H. Rosenthal founded the LOCKSS Program in 1999 at Stanford Libraries, with a vision to empower communities to steward for themselves the content that mattered to them.

The alpha test of the LOCKSS software ran through 2000. This was shortly followed by a more extensive and ultimately successful beta test, involving participation by over 50 libraries worldwide from 2000 to 2002.

In 2002, LOCKSS Program staff began to build the production version of the software. From 2002 to 2004, in collaboration with library staff from Emory University, Indiana University, and the New York Public Library, the team worked through questions concerning collection development, management, and access. The LOCKSS software was released into production in April 2004.

The early history of LOCKSS is chronicled in a February 2003 article by Chris Dobson, “From Bright Idea to Beta Test: The Story of LOCKSS.” (PDF)

In the years that followed, the communities using LOCKSS and the content they preserved steadily generalized beyond the original use case focused on subscription electronic resources. LOCKSS has long since become a solution for the preservation of all sorts of digital content.

In 2016, the LOCKSS Program was formally integrated into Stanford Libraries Digital Library Systems and Services group, at which time the founders stepped away from active management, transitioning that responsibility to Nicholas Taylor.

Awards and Honors

Over the years, the LOCKSS Program has won awards and honors for research and other community contributions.

Funding and Support

The LOCKSS Program has received major funding from:

  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • National Science Foundation
  • Library of Congress

It has also received additional funding and in-kind support from:

  • Oracle/Sun Microsystems
  • HP Labs
  • Intel Research Berkeley
  • Stanford Libraries
  • Stanford University Computer Science Department
  • Harvard University Computer Science Department
  • United Kingdom Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)