Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 29 March 2019

After the launch of the 2nd edition, one of our key goals for the Digital Preservation Handbook was for it be a dynamic resource. It would be updated regularly and keep pace with developments in the community. With this in mind I was appointed ‘Managing Editor’ afHandbookHometer Neil Beagrie completed his sterling work developing the 2nd Edition.

Up to this point changes have been small, fixing minor errors found by ourselves and readers, updating links, and adding the odd external resource. But, nearly 3 years out from the original publication of the 2nd edition, we’ve decided it’s time for a more top to toe approach to reviewing the content, with the aim of releasing the 3rd edition later this year.

With this in mind I’ve been putting together a plan for working through the whole Handbook, identifying where we might update existing text or add new content. I’ve consulted with the DPC’s Workforce Development Sub-Committee (who now serve at the editorial board) on the process and have made a few calls for suggestions on Twitter. As well as the obvious need for a complete read through, this has also generated lists of work that falls under 3 headings: updates that we’ve identified as definitely needing done, requests from readers, and a wish list of new additions. At the moment those lists are as follows:

Needs Done:


Wish List:

  • Check all the links
  • Change all references to the Data Seal of Approval to the Core Trust Seal
  • Expand the Glossary and integrate terms from Tech Watch glossaries
  • More on Maturity Modelling
  • List of interesting DP blogs
  • Expanded content in the ‘Getting Started’ section
  • Step by step guide to creating a file register
  • More video content
  • Tool demos
  • More content-specific sections
  • Translation in other languages

These lists are by no means static and I welcome any suggestions for more additions and updates. I’m also not too proud to turn down offers of help! The Handbook is a community resource, after all. Somaya Langley has already been kind enough to share a Digital Preservation Glossary she wrote for Cambridge University and I’ll be borrowing (stealing) some of those entries! I’ll also be calling on my DPC colleagues and our members for a helping hand with different aspects. But, if there’s something you’d like to contribute to, please do get in touch!

News DigitalPreservationSo far, I’ve mostly spent time completing the checking of all the links in the handbook, and it’s definitely shown we need to be better at practicing what we preach in terms of preserving access to content! A total of 60 links were dead, 13 of these I’ve ultimately decided to remove and 47 have been updated with working links. The largest number of failed links were to the versions of OAIS and the corresponding audit standard hosted on the CCSDS website. The organisation obviously restructured its document storage but had not put any forwarding in place. Fail. This has motivated us to consider swapping out many of the links to live content with links to the same material in web archives. This process is unlikely to happen during this update, but I’ll be consulting with our resident web archiving geek, Sara Day Thomson, to figure out how best to go about it once we have the 3rd edition live.

So, for the next 6 months I’ll be spending at least 1 day a week working on the Handbook and making the changes outlined above. As I’ve already said, I welcome any other suggestions for changes and additions or offers of contributions. Just let me know by email at sharon[at]dpconline[dot]org or via Twitter at @SharonMcMeekin. Let’s make sure the Handbook remains a useful and comprehensive resource for anyone interested in Digital Preservation!

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