Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 7 November 2019

Rise and shine digital preservationists of the western hemisphere! It’s World Digital Preservation Day, and all is well! There are things to see and do and celebrate – and people to tell about the wonders of digital preservation!


In fact, back in 2017, when World Digital Preservation Day was just a twinkle in our eyes, the whole idea behind the day was to use it as an opportunity to raise awareness, publicly – outside our community. WE know about digital preservation. WE all know about how important it is, how the work we (actually you) do creates opportunities for access and re-use, innovation, inspiration, development and even just honest to goodness compliance and adherence with legislation. But of everyone, we also know that digital preservation is one of those things that tends to go on behind the scenes, isn’t super glamorous, but is one of those crucial things everyone would miss if it wasn’t happening… like electricity or decent plumbing.

World Digital Preservation Day has become a jolly way of getting together to celebrate our work, but there are so many people for whom this is not familiar territory and may be quite scary to think about.

And this is still one of the reasons we have World Digital Preservation Day.

Yes to give ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back, have a bit of cake and feel proud of our achievements… but it’s also to share what we know about digital preservation with others. To do our bit in raising awareness of an important practice: with a view to embedding the value of digital preservation at the core of every organization, every process, everyday life. 

We want other people to know what we are doing about digital preservation, so it is not scary, or what COULD be done given the right support.

In the last couple of years, we have seen (and heard) people do this in various ways:

I can’t wait to see what today holds, and the creative ways people dream up to draw attention to our important work.


And the good news is… we don’t HAVE to wait to find out!

Our friends and colleagues in Asia and Australasia have been busy while we (in the UK) have been getting our zzzzzs. They have started the party in spectacular style, celebrating on behalf of the whole community and for them WDPD2019 party has been in full swing for the last 12 hours already.

While we’ve been snoozing, a whole pile of blog posts has been published, and we can see through the Twitter and Instagram feeds that colleagues in New Zealand and Australia are clearing up after events designed to raise awareness aof digital preservation.

And we cannot fail to mention the outstanding musical and cinematic contributions from Australia!!!

What spectacles to behold first thing in the morning!! I am in awe, I bow down, what else could top that today?!


I do happen to know that Sharon McMeekin has something musical up her sleeve though.... Just saying.

Here in this part of the world, we’ve got some catching up to do! We’re just getting started! Team DPC is waking up ahead of some important events…The big one for us of course is the live release of the 2019 BitList  (watch online from 1200 noon GMT), as well as the Tea Break Special at our York Offices (we must go and get the kettle on!)

But, if you’re at a loose end and you’ve got nothing particular planned, there are still plenty of ways to get involved:

  • Write a blog post - Tell us about the trials and tribulations, challenges and solutions, failures and successes you face in a typical ‘digital preservation day.’ Take us behind the scenes and tell us about the at-risk digital materials you’re working with or know about. Or, do you consider all digital materials within your community to be at risk because the skills, infrastructure or resources do not exist to support digital preservation. In which case, let us know what is required to enable digital preservation to happen. If you are a member, you can post directly to the DPC blog (login first). If you have your own blog – EVEN BETTER – that means your followers (as well as the digital preservation community) get to hear about digital preservation too. Just post your piece there and send us a link to it and we’ll add it to the WDPD2019 page.
  • Send a tweet/write a post - Blogging isn’t for everyone but, using your social media channel of choice, can you encapsulate your ‘digital preservation day’ in 140 characters? It goes without saying that we want this to be an international affair, so any language goes... just make sure you use the hashtag #WDPD2019.
  • Take a picture - They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Can you take a photo which sums up your ‘digital preservation day’ or the ‘at-risk digital materials’ you have identified? A stack of CDs or other fragile storage media filed 'safely' on a shelf, a team meeting, a seminar, your obsolescent-media-cake?! Add it to your own Instagram/facebook/Flickr account using the hashtag #WDPD2019 or send it to us and we’ll add it to ours.
  • Make a movie – It’s not too late to capture and share a short video. If you are holding your own event or attending one on the day, or can capture a workflow at your desk, see if you can do the same. It doesn’t have to be studio quality; record on your phone or even narrate a PowerPoint, and then add to your video-sharing platform of choice, remembering the hashtag #WDPD2019 of course.

But if you do nothing else - tell someone new about digital preservation! Spread the digipres word! If we all do just that…imagine how many more people will know about digital preservation after today!


For a detailed program and more information about World Digital Preservation Day visit the event page on the DPC website, follow the hashtags #WDPD2019 and #BitList on Twitter for updates or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

Happy World Digital Preservation Day!

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