Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 1 October 2020

Remember remember the 5th November...

For us here in the UK this date usually means fireworks, toffee apples and huddling round a bonfire as we mark Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night. It’s usually freezing, often raining, but a tradition many* observe anyway as it offers the chance to come together as friends and family, and ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at an impressive spectacle whilst eating sweets and treats. 

*I know that fireworks are not favoured everyone, most espeically by our dogs of digital preservation. Please enjoy thoughtfully.

I’m not sure there will be many community bonfire-side gatherings this year given the pandemic and various lockdowns still in force, but I’m not at all worried because we have:



And with a sense of anticipation building, I should remind you all of this year’s theme – Digits: For Good

This refers to the hard work, resilience, and responsiveness of our colleagues which will enable research and development data used in finding a vaccine for COVID-19 to be preserved, shared and studied; it represents the fact that decision making in the management of the pandemic will be captured for future generations; and it describes the support which will be available to organisations around the world as they work to sustain themselves through this unprecedented time. It also goes beyond the pandemic, to all of the exciting and essential digital preservation work taking place right now!

So here’s what I’m expecting….

The Friends and Family

I don’t know whether I’ll persuade my actual family to participate in World Digital Preservation Day, but I’m really looking forward to seeing and connecting with friends and colleagues from across the digital preservation community around the world.

This year has been so strange in the way we have all been forced to physically distance from one another, but a number of DPC and broader community online activities mean that I’ve never felt more connected. Based on the social media engagements alone, Word Digital Preservation Day last year saw people tweeting, blogging, instagramming from all corners of the globe. I think we’ve become better at connecting online, so this year I expect to see even more!

The Spectacle

There may not be actual fireworks, but I guarantee you will ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ and some of the feats of creativity our community will bring to the World Digital Preservation Day party. Going on the genius of these contributions from last year alone, the standard of my expectations are SERIOUSLY HIGH for this year...

Check out:

And/but/also… talking of high standards, please dig out your red-carpet attire and be upstanding in anticipation of the culmination of the Digital Preservation Awards 2020! The presentation to this year’s winners will take place online, but do not expect any less in the way of glitz, glamour and sparkle. With a set of finalists as good as these, you know the unveiling of the winners is going to be a spectacle to behold.

And the great news is because it's happening online EVERYONE IS INVITED! Stay tuned for details of when this will happen…

DPA2016 Standing Ovation

Three cheers for an online Digital Preservation Awards extravaganza!

The Sweets and Treats

One of my favourite parts of World Digital Preservation Day is seeing the edible contributions and last year our digital preservation bakers did not disappoint!


The photos above represent a mere ‘slice’ of the baking action from Jaana Pinnick, Kirsten Wright, Rosslyn Ross, Angela Beking, the teams at LIMA and the Digital Heritage Network in the Netherlands, Paul Wheatley, Jenny Mitcham and the Archaeology Data Service… but there was so MUCH more.


So, with just 5 Thursdays until World Digital Preservation Day on 5th November, there is not much longer to wait until our fourth annual celebration of all things digital preservation!

And if you’d like some suggestions about how you could take part, I would be happy to oblige:

1. Share the love

The great thing about World Digital Preservation Day is that it’s an opportunity for the community to celebrate its work and achievements – but we can also use this opportunity to tell others about digital preservation too!

And with everyone meeting online these days, you can invite the world to join your event in celebration of WDPD2020! You could organize an online games-room, or hackathon, or set up a Q&A with digital preservation experts in your organization…  submit details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 23rd October and we’ll add the details to our ‘What’s On’ section of the WDPD2020 page of the website, including URLs for your event. 

We’ve assembled an event pack on the DPC website with some handy resources for just this sort of occasion!

2. Tell us ALL about it

Like to write? Tell us your Digits: For Good story. Take us behind the scenes and tell us about the digital materials you’re working with or work you know about. If you are a member, you can post directly to the DPC blog on the day (login first). If you have your own blog – even better! Post your piece there where your followers will read it, send us a link to it and we’ll add it to the WDPD2020 page, or send us your post in advance (by Friday 23rd October) and we’ll add it to the DPC blog for you.

And if you know about good work that’s happening right now – take a look at the Bit List of Digitally Endangered Species and share this as a case study which demonstrates the efforts made to preserve some of the at-risk materials listed. Case study information to be submitted by Friday 23rd October:

3. Tell us about it (short version)

Blogging isn’t for everyone but, using your social media channel of choice, can you encapsulate your Digits: For Good story in 140 characters? Do you think you could persuade your organization to relinquish the corporate twitter account for the day, for you to tweet non-stop about digital preservation?! It goes without saying that we want this to be an international affair, so any language goes... just make sure you use the hashtag #WDPD2020.

4. Take a picture

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Can you take a photo which sums up your Digits: For Good story? Add it to your own Instagram/facebook/Flickr account using the hashtag #WDPD2020 or send it to us and we’ll add it to ours.

5. Make a movie

If you are giving a presentation or holding a webinar for WDPD2020 see if you can record that and make a short video, or capture a workflow at your desk. 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 #WDPD2020 of course.


Or, you could always write a song and choreograph an accompanying dance …

Whatever you do, I’m expecting a spectacle – with or without the fireworks.


#1 Daniel Flores BR 2020-11-01 16:53
Expecting !!!

For a great World Digital Preservation Day.

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