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Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Preservation: some thoughts

Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham

Last updated on 6 April 2020

On Friday last week the DPC hosted a webinar on ‘Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Preservation’. We were delighted to be able to get all four authors of a recent article in American Archivist in the (virtual) room together with our Members to discuss this important topic.

The article is available here and I’d urge digital preservation people everywhere to read it if you haven’t already. I joked within the webinar last week that I wished I’d written it myself...but I should also note that if I had it wouldn’t be nearly so thorough or well referenced!

In the paper, the authors (Keith Pendergrass, Walker Sampson, Tim Walsh and Laura Alagna) call for a paradigm shift to create environmentally sustainable digital preservation. They focus in particular on three key areas, asking us to consider how we view and enact appraisal, permanence, and the availability of digital content. They encourage us to make sustainable choices by integrating environmental sustainability into existing decision-making criteria and follow with detailed discussion and a framework for helping us more effectively consider our choices.

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Capturing the UK Government Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic at The National Archives UK

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 6 April 2020

A Note from the Editor, Sara Day Thomson

As the coordinator of the DPC’s Web Archiving & Preservation Working Group, it has been my absolute pleasure to work with some of the most enthusiastic, creative, and persevering professionals in the field. The community of archivists, curators, librarians, researchers, and enthusiasts who do the work of capturing and preserving web resources has always displayed a collaborative spirit and a willingness to try new approaches and learn from each other.

The coronavirus pandemic has truly and profoundly put that spirit to the test, and the web archiving community has not disappointed.

‘The speed, scale, and level of interest in participating in this collective effort have been remarkable and have no comparison to previous collaborative endeavours,’ Jefferson Bailey from Internet Archive attests. ‘It is a great testament to the community's ability to work together.’

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been in touch with a handful of the professionals at the frontlines of this effort to archive the global experience of coronavirus. In a series of blog posts, I’ll share their insights into this urgent undertaking to capture the world’s response to coronavirus (Covid-19) online.

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Catching an Avalanche with a Teaspoon: the Global Challenge of Web Archiving the Coronavirus Pandemic

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 3 April 2020

A Note from the Editor, Sara Day Thomson

As the coordinator of the DPC’s Web Archiving & Preservation Working Group, it has been my absolute pleasure to work with some of the most enthusiastic, creative, and persevering professionals in the field. The community of archivists, curators, librarians, researchers, and enthusiasts who do the work of capturing and preserving web resources has always displayed a collaborative spirit and a willingness to try new approaches and learn from each other.

The coronavirus pandemic has truly and profoundly put that spirit to the test, and the web archiving community has not disappointed.

‘The speed, scale, and level of interest in participating in this collective effort have been remarkable and have no comparison to previous collaborative endeavours,’ Jefferson Bailey from Internet Archive attests. ‘It is a great testament to the community's ability to work together.’

Over the last week I’ve been in touch with a handful of the professionals at the front lines of this effort to archive the global experience of coronavirus. In a series of blog posts, I’ll share their insights into this urgent undertaking to capture the world’s response to coronavirus (Covid-19) online.

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Smooth Sailin' - The Final Day of Novice to Know-How

Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 31 March 2020

Early this year I wrote a blog post introducing our exciting new online training endeavour, funded by The National Archives (UK), Novice to Ninja. A course that aims to provide beginners in digital preservation with the skills to implement simple workflows at their organizations. Four and a half months, 25 modules, around 35,000 words, and a new name (Novice to Know-How) later, today is the last day of the project. To be honest that hasn’t really sunk in yet. Perhaps when the bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge is popped open later, reality will hit!

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Harnessing the Crowd: Coronavirus Topical Collection at the UK Web Archive

Nicola Bingham

Nicola Bingham

Last updated on 30 March 2020

A Note from the Editor, Sara Day Thomson

As the coordinator of the DPC’s Web Archiving & Preservation Working Group, it has been my absolute pleasure to work with some of the most enthusiastic, creative, and persevering professionals in the field. The community of archivists, curators, librarians, researchers, and enthusiasts who do the work of capturing and preserving web resources has always displayed a collaborative spirit and a willingness to try new approaches and learn from each other.

The coronavirus pandemic has truly and profoundly put that spirit to the test, and the web archiving community has not disappointed.

‘The speed, scale, and level of interest in participating in this collective effort have been remarkable and have no comparison to previous collaborative endeavours,’ Jefferson Bailey from Internet Archive attests. ‘It is a great testament to the community's ability to work together.’

Over the last week I’ve been in touch with a handful of the professionals at the front lines of this effort to archive the global experience of coronavirus. In a series of blog posts, I’ll share their insights into this urgent undertaking to capture the world’s response to coronavirus (Covid-19) online.

To kick off the series, we will hear from Nicola Bingham, Lead Curator for Web Archives at the British Library, who describes how the UK Web Archive has handled past major events and how coronavirus (Covid-19) has really tested this capacity. She also suggests some ways the community can pitch in and help, as well as some tips for how to do some coronavirus web archiving of your own, even if you have never archived a single website!

More to come from these tireless web archive first responders in the days ahead, so watch this space.

Stay safe everyone.

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IDCC Session: Selecting efficient and reliable preservation strategies

Alexandra Mitchell

Alexandra Mitchell

Last updated on 25 March 2020

Alexandra Mitchell is Archivist at the University of Salford. She attended IDCC 2020 with support from the DPC's Career Development Fund which is funded by DPC Supporters.


How do we choose what digital preservation strategy to use? When I was asked by the DPC to select a paper on which to write a blog post I naively thought I would come out of this with some answers. Instead, Micah Altman’s paper highlighted just how complex digital preservation can be and any approach taken by an institution or indeed individual must take a constellation of factors into consideration.

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IDCC 2020: Do we need to agree on how to say potato?

judith carr

judith carr

Last updated on 19 March 2020

Judith Carr is the Research Data Manager at the University of Liverpool. She attended IDCC 2020 with support from the DPC's Career Development Fund which is funded by DPC Supporters.


This is my second blog about the IDCC 2020 conference in Dublin.

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Preserving UK Videogame History

Caylin Smith

Caylin Smith

Last updated on 20 March 2020

Caylin Smith is the Digital Preservation Manager at Cambridge University Library. 


If you were to think about the scale of complexity for preserving digital content, videogames would probably be at the higher end. This is exactly the challenge given to a group of UK-based collecting organisations: figuring out how to preserve and provide access to UK videogame history for current and future generations of researchers.  

In January 2019, representatives from the British Film Institute, the V&A, the Science Museum Group, the British Library and the UK Legal Deposit Libraries, the Museum of London, and the National Videogame Museum met to discuss the first steps. 

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There ain't no party like an online digital preservation party

Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham

Last updated on 20 March 2020

What do you do if Covid-19, travel bans and social distancing stops your planned DPC Australasia launch party taking place?

You take your party online of course!

So early (very early) this morning I got myself up, donned a sparkly top, grabbed a glass of orange juice and some cereal and logged on to a virtual party. I briefly toyed with the idea of bringing a glass of wine but regretfully decided it was a step too far at 7am.

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Positive Outcomes of the N2N Pilot

Amy Currie

Amy Currie

Last updated on 13 March 2020

Put your tray tables up and your seats in the upright position, because we are nearing the end of the N2N Project Pilot…


Work has continued at pace with the Novice to Know-How (N2N) Project (now officially renamed from Novice to Ninja) over the last few months. So far, the N2N team has commenced and completed Phase 1 (research and learning pathway design) and is deep into Phase 2 (content development).

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