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WDPD: Reflections and Ripples

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 6 December 2019

Now that the dust has settled after World Digital Preservation Day (WDPD) on 7th November and I have finished travelling around the country for the year (I think), I have had a chance to pause and reflect on what was - quite frankly - another stupendous outpouring of digital preservation community goodness!

Unlike last year when we were in Amsterdam for the Memory Makers Conference and Digital Preservation Awards, I was on home turf in York primed and looking forward to remaining glued to my tweetdeck for a good 36 hours. I was relishing the fact that I could quite literally binge on whatever WDPD was going to throw my way, with no distractions!

And my word, did WDPD throw us digital preservation delights by the bucketload!

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Ready, steady, sprint….or how to write a policy toolkit in 3 days

Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham

Last updated on 2 December 2019

Many years ago I ran a half marathon in Bristol but running a book sprint there was an entirely different proposition.

It could be argued however that both were exhausting and rewarding in equal measure!

Last week, DPC staff joined with colleagues from the University of Bristol and a small group of invited experts to work on a new resource for DPC Members - a Digital Preservation Policy Toolkit.

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iPres 2019: Preserving the people in digital preservation

Elisabeth Thurlow

Elisabeth Thurlow

Last updated on 27 November 2019

Elisabeth Thurlow is Digital Archives and Collections Implementation Manager at the University of the Arts London. She attended iPres2019 with support from the DPC's Career Development Fund which is generously funded by DPC supporters.


A recurrent theme across many of the papers presented at this year’s iPres conference was the important role of people in digital preservation. Technology tends to dominate conversations around digital preservation, but for digital preservation to ultimately work, we need people too.

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Capturing Cultural Transformation: an update on the Hull 2017 City of Culture digital archive

Laura Giles

Laura Giles

Last updated on 22 November 2019

Laura Giles is City of Culture Digital Archivist at The University of Hull


Back in October 2017 we at the University of Hull blogged about the early stages of our plan to archive the Hull 2017 City of Culture. The project was in its infancy then so we’re keen now to share an update of where this journey has taken us since.

The idea for the Hull City of Culture Digital Archive was conceived shortly after the announcement in November 2013 that Hull was to be the holder of the 2017 title of UK City of Culture. Knowing that 2017 had the potential to be a complete game-changer for Hull, it was seen as crucial to capture a historical record of the year. There was a strong desire to document this time to guarantee that decisions made, works created, residents engaged, visitors attracted and money spent were chronicled and accessible to researchers in the future.

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Introducing the new NDSA Levels of Preservation

Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham

Last updated on 14 November 2019

Since August 2018 I have been involved in an ambitious international effort to revise the NDSA Levels of Preservation.

When I first joined the revision group I was working as a digital archivist at the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

I was a digital archivist who very much appreciated the NDSA Levels and had used them frequently to measure progress and to communicate with colleagues. The rumours that I had them printed out and pinned up above my desk are indeed true. I believe I was what you might call an NDSA Levels of Preservation ‘Super Fan’.

I joined the group because I had highlighted (for example in this blog post) some areas where I was unsure how to apply them or felt they could be subject to slightly different interpretation.

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Finding the Cutting Edge in Common Formats

Elizabeth Kata

Elizabeth Kata

Last updated on 11 November 2019

Elizabeth Kata is Digital Archives Assistant at the International Atomic Engergy Agency (IAEA). She attended iPres2019 with support from the DPC's Career Development Fund which is generously funded by DPC supporters.


Placing a session with the title “Common Formats” under the theme “Cutting Edge” seemed at first contradictory as I looked over the iPRES 2019 program, but the four papers presented in this session demonstrated cutting edge work being done with and to preserve common formats, from data tape recovery to PDF/A analysis. And read more to see what upcoming actions this session inspired! 

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Earthrise: WDPD+1

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 8 November 2019

The Sun has now set on another World Digital Preservation Day: it’s been down for a while already and this post is really a late echo. But universal laws of motion tell me that the Sun doesn’t rise or set. It’s the Earth that rises.

2019 is, of course, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 (and the less celebrated but altogether more joyous Apollo 12), travelling ‘in peace for all mankind’. For a moment people in every continent cheered as a man called Armstrong walked upon the moon. At one point in lunar orbit, Michael Collins could look back towards the Earth (as Dick Gordon could do a few months later) and hold in a single view the entire human family. It’s the ringside seat of all time: to spectate as our tiny planet spins through the blackness of space, sustaining the entire freight of human history.

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Finding the balance: Multidisciplinary teams in digital preservation

Sarah Mason

Sarah Mason

Last updated on 24 October 2019

Sarah Mason is Systems Archivist for Artefactual Systems Inc. and is based in the UK


World Digital Preservation Day is a great chance for the digital preservation community to celebrate achievements, to reach out to those outside and bring them into the community; it is also a chance to discuss what challenges we face and what opportunities are out there to help us move forward. So in the face of challenges that involve funding, staffing, and managerial or IT buy-in, how do we preserve the ever increasing volume and complexity of digital materials?

One way that we can face these kinds of challenges is by collaborating as part of a multidisciplinary team. Bringing together a diverse range of expertise, the team at Artefactual Systems is comprised of analysts (who represent domain specialists from archivists to librarians), developers, and systems administrators. Together, we can use of different viewpoints and specialisations to collaborate on digital preservation solutions--in different geographic locations! We understand that in this field no one person can know it all; sometimes it takes many voices to address issues in a balanced way.

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La preservación Digital en Latinoamérica

Alexander Barquero

Alexander Barquero

Last updated on 5 November 2019

Alexander Barquero es director del Archivo Nacional de Costa Rica y Coordinador del Grupo de trabajo sobre Gestión y Preservación de Documentos Electrónicos de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Archivos


[English version follows]

En un mundo globalizado, transformado por las sociedades del conocimiento e inmerso en la cuarta revolución industrial, los países de la región latinoamericana tienen un gran reto (y una gran oportunidad) para potenciar la capacidad productiva de sus habitantes y obtener el máximo provecho a la constante e imparable producción intelectual, técnica y tecnológica del mundo. Los recursos con los que cuenta cualquier administración para trabajar siempre serán limitados, y en el caso de los países latinoamericanos esto es una constante que pareciera no fenecer pronto. Ante esta realidad, los gobiernos, instituciones, empresas y ciudadanos se ven obligados a la búsqueda continua de opciones que logren aprovechar eficientemente los recursos económicos y talento humano, así como la infraestructura física y tecnológica.

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Hyperreal Intangible Cultural Heritage: Digital Preservation of Dance

Anna Oates

Anna Oates

Last updated on 4 November 2019

Anna Oates is Scholarly Communication and Discovery Services Librarian at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in the USA, and former graduate student of the Illinois School of Information Sciences where these studies originated.


A Roundabout Introduction to Digital Preservation of Dance: Navigating the PDF/A Standard

Four months after its initial submission, my master's thesis [1] appeared on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign institutional repository. Since this successful ingest, I have been asked to write a brief summary so that those who might find value in the research would not have to traverse through the pages of a laborious discussion on PDF, specifically as manifested in PDF/A (Portable Document Format — Archival) as a recommended format for the long-term preservation of student theses and dissertations. True to the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) quiddity, my research explored the meta relationship of my student work — a thesis to be deposited in an institutional repository about theses that had been deposited in an institutional repository.

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