Chris Prom

Last updated on 2 November 2023

Chris Prom is Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is proud to release the iPRES 2023 Proceedings on World Digital Preservation Day. We hope you find them profitable and useful for your work.

Doing so is a fitting capstone to the community effort that underpins digital preservation work so evident during the iPRES 2023 meeting, held from September 19 - 22, 2023. As conference co-chair, along with Tracy Seneca, I can truly say that organizing the conference was THE highlight of my professional career to date. The sense of welcome, collegiality, rigor, and fun that the entire conference planning team - our program committee, local organizers, peer reviewers, and supporters - brought to the table, was truly extraordinary and inspiring!  

If our conference theme - Digital Preservation in Disruptive Times - implied that our field was seeing some stress, this was far from evident, judging by the sense of camaraderie we exemplified in our interactions, both on site in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and online in our hybrid environment.  

As you will see when you read the Proceedings, our contributors provided many new and original insights, around our five conference themes (All Together Now​, Digital Accessibility, Inclusion and Diversity​, From Theory to Practice, Immersive Information​ and Sustainability).   I hope you will read the proceedings cover to cover, although we certainly understand that you can also dip into just those papers of interest.  For this reason, we are providing both a PDF of the entire proceedings and access to individual articles, through the University of Illinois Institutional Repository, IDEALS. Videos of many sessions are also available here.

I am eager to point out that Illinois could not - indeed did not - do this alone.  We were fortunate to build on the excellent work and leadership provided by the iPRES Steering Committee, as well as the excellent example set by our Scottish predecessors, and that over 300 on site registrants and over 200 online registrants attended iPRES 2023. We were perhaps most grateful that 14 scholarship recipients attended in person, and three remotely.  In addition, we were able to waive registration fees entirely for all attendees who indicated that they were self funded. This was all due to the generosity of our sponsors and academic partners, noted elsewhere in the proceedings.  They contributed over $130,000 of direct financial support to the iPRES community.

On a personal note, I am proud to say that iPRES gives a feeling of home.  I love being part of this community.  It spans many areas of practice, and each year brings both a set of familiar and new faces.  

As I look forward to iPRES 2024 in Ghent, I hope you will also join me in raising a virtual glass to the role that iPRES plays in fostering an expansive and expanding community of international experts dedicated to celebrating all things digital preservation!


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