Indiana University's archival research holdings range from wax cylinder sound recordings of Native American music to photographs of African American musicians in the post-World War II period to artifacts collected by The Kinsey Institute.
In 2008, the IU Bloomington Media Preservation Survey showed that large portions of the time-based media holdings were seriously endangered due to media degradation and format obsolescence. A subsequent report outlined several recommendations to support long-range planning and address the tasks ahead. The Library of Congress took note of this study, recognizing the survey in "The state of recorded sound preservation in the United States: A national legacy at risk in the digital age."
MDPI has since become a model example for preservation and digitization across the higher education landscape. This is due both to the university's partnership with Memnon Archiving Services—preservation specialists charged with managing on-site digitization facilities—and the initiative's comprehensiveness. Approximately 80 units at IU Bloomington have opened their archives to the project.