Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 9 February 2017

Roughly weekly/monthly news and opinions from the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Head of Research and Practice, Paul Wheatley. Opinions are the opinions of Paul and those featured. Not the DPC. They’re just opinions, ok? Just because the blog has moved to the official DPC website does not mean this isn't just a load of opinions. Back issues are here.

Welcome to a new era. Post-truth. Alternative facts. The 2017 that the pretty awful 2016 appears to have just been a gentle warm up for. And I suspect it's going to get pretty hot. As Terry Pratchett once said - there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a flamethrower.  But fear not dear reader. Although the DPC has a brand spanking new website to which Digital Preservation News has moved, the usual pedantry, gentle snark and (hopefully) useful digipres news is not going anywhere.

In uncertain times, some stability and permanence is reassuring. In a post-truth era, it's absolutely vital. So, my digipres friends, we've got our work cut out. Let's go to it...

Let's begin with something a bit more uplifting, and it was the DPC's annual "What I wish I knew before I started": a student conference to inspire, inform and reassure the next generation of digipresers.

Of course it can also turn out to be reassuring to the rest of us as well:

And that's exactly what the DPC is here for. Digipres may (just about still) be a niche discipline, but it's also incredibly broad. It's impossible for a practitioner to have all the expertise required to successfully nail every part of their role. Community and knowledge exchange is the solution. Which is one of the reasons we've just launched a new website:

In fact there's been a whole lot of big DPC news. Waaay too much for one news blog, but here's the quick fire highlights: The Kilbride on the future of the DPC, new DPC members, and a schedule of great webinars and events (with more to come soon).

This isn't a DPC newsletter, it's the digipres news, but there's one more DPC related story I want to dip into before I move onto other things. We launched a new category of DPC membership: Commercial Supporters:

Funds generated by Commercial Supporters are ring fenced for supporting member's staff development (and a few other great causes) such as the scholarships we awarded to early career professionals to attend iPRES last year. An important part of the DPC's role has always been in providing impartial advice to our members, and so the relationship we have with vendors is critical to get right. This new scheme however ensures that there is good value for vendors, without compromising the independence of thought that the Coalition can provide. As the commercial marketplace becomes increasingly important to this sector we have to continue to build a partnership with digipres vendors. So it's been a long time coming, but I think DPC has got it just right.

Another excellent and essential blog read read, 10th in the series!

The veraPDF validation tool reached version 1.0 and I blogged about a somewhat personal journey of testing and applying the tool:

Long read time. "Through A Glass, Darkly" Technical, Policy, and Financial Actions to Avert the Coming Digital Dark Ages" with some lengthy analysis from DSHR

Great stuff from Johan. Is there anything this man can't validate? Answers on the back of a stamped, addressed, 3.5" floppy.

Archives Unleashed comes to the UK:

iPRES 2017 call is out. The paper deadline is 10th March, workshops is 3rd April:

Great to see this. We'll have something for DPC members on this topic very soon:

Another update on the BL's Flashback work:

Wow, we had the Digital Preservation Awards! Look at all these digipres achievers, proud we are of all of them:

There was another of those "write it to some kind of long lived media and chuck it into a mine" articles again. Look straight ahead. Don't rise to it. Laa laa laa, not listening. Just ignore it, it will go away...

If I had a binary digit for every one of those stories I've read I'd errm need a salt mine to chuck the lot in.

Back to more serious matters. I think we've probably all been thinking this at some point recently:


There's so much great digipres stuff I could put here, it's really not easy to choose. But it has to be this:

Final thoughts time, I'll try and keep it serious:

You want *more* serious? Be careful what you ask for. Those with a sensitive disposition should look away now:

Normally I frown on swearing as this is a family digital preservation blog, but warranted I think in this situation. Thanks Tim!

Here's a final and important mind thought from our student conference:

Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you

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