Service Alert: August 2023 Interruption to Fulcrum-hosted collections

By: Charles Watkinson, Head, Michigan Publishing | Date: August 29, 2023
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At 1:45 pm ET on Sunday, August 27, 2023, information security experts at the University of Michigan made the difficult decision to sever the University’s ties to the internet following a significant security concern. More information on the University’s decision is available here. Service to Fulcrum collections was restored at 8:30 am ET on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

Some further context: Because Fulcrum (Michigan’s open-source publishing platform) is hosted on data servers managed at the University, this action meant that all access to the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection, the ACLS Humanities Ebook Collection, the BAR Digital Collection, Lever Press, and Amherst College Press platforms, among others, was cut off. Deep Blue repositories and the HathiTrust Digital Library were also affected.

Data integrity was maintained, and off-site backups of all content were never under threat.

The decision to isolate U-M servers from the internet was necessary to protect the information that the University stewards. However, we in the Publishing division of the University of Michigan Library know that this outage's timing couldn’t have been worse for the hundreds of libraries, thousands of scholars, and tens of thousands of students who rely on the publications we host. As college classes started up worldwide, we caused a disruption. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at with any specific questions. 

Thank you for your patience as we weathered this attack on the University’s educational mission. Our parent organization continues its investigations in collaboration with federal law enforcement agencies. We have learned some valuable lessons, especially about the currency of our list of technical contacts at libraries, and will be doing some remediation.