Alexis Tindall

Alexis Tindall

Last updated on 9 April 2021

Alexis Tindall is Digital Innovation Manager at the University of Adelaide

In March 2020 the University of Adelaide Library became the Digital Preservation Coalition’s 100th member, becoming part of an emerging Australasian presence for the DPC. In addition to supporting learning, teaching and research at the University of Adelaide, our Library encompasses the University’s archives, rare books and manuscripts, and art and heritage collections. As such, we care for important and growing digital collections, including research data, business records, audio-visual material, archived web content and other material. Joining the DPC has been an opportunity to align and focus our approach to digital preservation to ensure a planned and consistent program of preservation strategies, to ensure ongoing safety and utility of these resources, supported by improved documentation and workforce capabilities.

Uni of AdelaideWe spent a good part of 2020 gathering information and preparing to articulate a consolidated digital preservation approach. This included bringing representatives of our recordkeeping, special collections, archives and academic engagement teams together; improving understanding of the landscape in terms of systems, data types, and the policy environment, including legal compliance and risk issues. During this period scenarios arose that have affirmed the need for action, including receipt of born digital manuscript collections, the unfortunate discovery of file failures in a couple of instances, and an opportunity to review how we have managed digital thesis collections in recent years.

We have drawn on DPC resources as we plan our future strategy. Completing the DPC Rapid Assessment Model gave us a framework to help decide what we would prioritise for measurable improvement in the next year, while several staff completed the Novice to Know How training, helping us feel more confident in our next steps. Perhaps the ‘nicest’ resource we have found is the welcoming, helpful and collegiate community that comes together around the DPC, including the Australasian stakeholder group and our international DPC colleagues.

As we enter our second year of membership we are ready to document our digital preservation principles, and describe our priorities for action. We, like all organisations, are tackling the challenge of how to deliver real improvements and a long term vision through staged and achievable actions in the short term. DPC membership has given us a new framework through which to approach this endeavour, and a new community with whom to share our successes and our trials! 

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