Isabel Galina Russell

Isabel Galina Russell

Last updated on 18 November 2020

Isabel Galina Russell is a Researcher and member of GPD based at Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas, UNAM. 

For a second year, the Grupo de Preservación Digital (GPD) based in Mexico, gpd1is joining in the celebration of World Digital Preservation Day. The GPD, founded in 2017, is a multidisciplinary and interinstitutional group focused on the practice of digital preservation as well as supporting research and training in digital preservation. We also focus on advocacy work for preserving our digital cultural heritage. The GPD originated at the Biblioteca Nacional, Mexico’s National Library which is based at the national university, the UNAM. The group focuses mainly on the digital cultural heritage sector, working with cultural heritage institutions and universities around the country. We now also have an increasing membership of people from other sectors, all concerned about how to address digital preservation issues. 


Mexico is a culturally rich country and over the previous decades there have been many digitization initiatives, although many are short lived, do not have sufficient resources or are disjointed efforts that have not resulted yet in a solid digital infrastructure.  As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a renewed interest in the availability of digital collections for research, teaching and for the general public. This in turn, has finally brought to the forefront the importance of not only making these materials available but also of providing enduring access to them. The GPD has, as one of its main priorities, to provide resources and tools that can help institutions that are looking to create digital preservation strategies. Although there are initiatives from other parts of the world, we have found that many of them are in English and an important part of our work is creating and providing access to information in Spanish for general use, and in particular, providing solutions within our national context.gpd6

The past three years we have held bi-monthly meetings as well as working on a number of initiatives. Members of the GPD recently published “Criterios básicos para valorar sistemas de preservación digital”, an open access guide to choosing a digital preservation system. We are also working on a Spanish translation of Trevor Owen’s book “The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation”, experimenting with collaborative translation. Other members have been actively involved with the BN on electronic legal deposit and some of our experiences are recorded in the chapter “E-legal deposit at the Biblioteca Nacional de México (National Library of Mexico)” published in Electronic Legal Deposit: Shaping the Library Collections of the Future (eds. Melissa Terras and Paul Gooding, Facet Publishing). The book will be also be presented on World Digital Preservation Day.  We work closely with Asociación Iberoamericana de Preservación Digital -APREDIG (Ibero-American Digital Preservation Association) and we are constantly looking to expand our collaboration and networks with other digital preservation initiatives around the world.

For World Digital Preservation Day, we have organized an online conference with three invited speakers: Gilberto Pedreira Campillo, Biblioteca Digital, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Spain; Thomas Ledoux, National Library of France and Marisa R. De Giusti, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina. The conference will be transmitted livegpd7

We have also put together a series of two to three-minute videos from several members of the GPD as well as invited speakers on digital preservation. Following a general script our speakers address issues related to their interest in digital preservation, offering their best tips for people who are starting out and recommending useful resources. Our aim is to provide short informative clips that can be of interest to anyone starting out in digital preservation. The 18 clips will be available on the BN YouTube channel and will be published and tweeted as part of our activities that day. Follow us on Twitter @preservadigital, to listen to researchers, practitioners, students and even the younger generation talking about how and why digital preservation is so important. We hope, in this way, to add our voices from Mexico to the worldwide discussion on digital preservation.

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