Image preservation for American Institute of Indian Studies

The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), founded in 1961, is a consortium of 90 universities and colleges in the United States that promotes the advancement of knowledge about India in the U.S. Now over 60 years old, the institute has a rich history of education, collaboration and culture sharing.


In all the archive contains about 140,000 photographs and slides of sculpture, numismatics, painting, manuscripts and miniature paintings. It also contains images, architectural drawings, and site plans. The high-resolution images are stored in TIFF format, including both born digital and digitised photographs.

Some older parts of the collection had been previously stored on CDs and hard drives, presenting challenges for the institute to retrieve the images after some
time had passed. Due to file size, many choose to store images offline rather than online, often opting for commodity short term storage, due to availability and cost. With CDs vulnerable to wear and hard drives limited by lifespan of only 4-5 years, organisations often lose access to information stored on these media types.
Neither media were designed for long-term storage and when used for archival or cold storage purposes, they often fall short, leaving information trapped and

As these images are of critical importance, the AIIS wanted a new approach to image archiving and looked to a new medium that can stand the test of time.

The AIIS has chosen Piql’s unique approach to longterm image archival due to the guaranteed accessibility and incredible longevity of our technology.


Piql has delivered an initial project of 25 GB of images, stored on piqlFilm in hybrid form (both analogue and digital) to test and explore the feasibility of a largescale project. Piql also demonstrated the new piqlReader with its award-winning design, offering instant access to files stored offline.


The Institute is planning to archive their complete library of images with Piql in the next phase of the project, with audio and visual data to follow.