n. (also dark archive)a repository that stores archival resources but is accessible only to its custodianMoore 2006, 152A security data grid (dark archive) can be implemented that reproduces all of the logical attributes and digital components, while restricting any access by the public.Danner, Kauffman, and Palfrey 2009, 155There is also at the very same time an ongoing effort for permanent preservation of the printed object from which these things were digitized if they were not born digital, and for preserving the born-digital copy at some point too. There will be light archives and dark archives of all this information should anything ever need to be replicated if it’s destroyed.Dow 2009, 91If a repository only stores content but does not allow user access to it, we call it a dark archives; if such a repository provides access to its holdings, we refer to it as a light archives.Martin 2011So, what is a dark archive? It is, simply put, an archive of information that is not used for public access. Most often it serves as a failsafe copy of a light archive, i.e. a publicly available version of the information, for use in disaster recovery operations. Dark archives need not be a fully operational copy of an information system, rather just the content behind the information system. This is an important distinction because maintaining an exact operational copy of an information system is a much more complex and expensive undertaking than maintaining only the content the information system operates on. Metaphorically, at its base definition, a dark archive will require more than a flip of the switch to make a light archive.Marks 2015, 24Access is a critical function of the OAIS model—even in so-called dark archives where only the Producer may use content—and an archives that has acquired content without the right or ability to provide access may find itself in a difficult and costly position.Williams and Berilla 2015, 93In the case of administrative records, we were given a large set of documents with the proviso that the records be set in a dark archives for twenty years. The library’s archival unit placed these records in a separate, password-protected dark archives with limited access.Cline 2016, 7From that computer we succeeded in creating disk images, and transferred them to networked storage for subsequent metadata creation and ingest into the dark archive.CDL 2020bDark Archive ¶ An archive that is inaccessible to the public. It is typically used for the preservation of content that is accessible elsewhere. See also dim archive, light archive.
When resources in a dark archives become accessible, they are no longer considered dark. In some cases, records in a dark archives are also accessible to their creators.The term dark archives is also used in libraries for collections of online serial publications and databases that are held by an organization other than the publisher and kept in case they are no longer available from the publisher.