Hania Smerecka

Hania Smerecka

Last updated on 6 December 2017

Hania Smerecka is an archivist at Lloyds Banking Group. This post recaps her experience at 'Aye Preserve - Digital Preservation in the West of Scotland' on 30 November 2017 at the University of Glasgow.

On Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Aye Preserve event held at the University of Glasgow. The event was perfectly timed to coincide with the International Day of Digital Preservation, and featured presentations from a number of speakers followed by the launch of the Digital Preservation Coalition BitList, a list of the world’s endangered digital species.

The event was an opportunity to network with other digital practitioners, catch up on individual developments, and get some peer advice on the issues my business is facing. This is always hugely valuable, and particularly good when there is cake involved.

I really enjoyed Sharon McMeekin’s whistle-stop tour of the ‘Getting Started’ and ‘Making Progress’ training provided by the DPC. I’ve been lucky enough to attend the sessions, and found both very useful. The refresher encouraged me to revisit elements of the sessions and evaluate my progress. It also reminded me to think of all three ‘legs’ of the digital preservation stool (resources, organisation, technology) and not focus purely on tech, an easy pit to fall in to.

The day opened my eyes to the fabulous work of the National Library of Scotland on preserving video. Ann Cameron’s presentation was an honest account of the vast Grampian TV project. Video is an area my team is exploring at the moment (albeit on a much, much smaller scale) and hearing about the NLS experience was valuable, setting me to thinking about our programme and offering lots of food for thought (formats, storage, priorities).

Heather Jack of HJBS rounded off the presentations with ‘Business as Usual’ – a warts-and-all look at the problems posed by the enthusiastic (but not necessarily forward thinking) adoption of digital technology. It struck a chord. We’re all familiar with systems which create information but don’t make provision for management, preservation or export. But it was surprisingly upbeat. Heather’s ‘reasons to be cheerful’ made me appreciate how far we’ve come in a relatively short space of time (digital literacy, registers, responsible owners) and I left uplifted – in part because Heather managed to incorporate puffins, tigers and the excellent word ‘gadzooks’ into her talk.

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