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‘DIY’ Digital Preservation: A Collaborative Trainee Project on Personal Digital Archiving

Jacob Bickford, Erin Liu, Ellie Peng & Ash Ullah

Jacob Bickford, Erin Liu, Ellie Peng & Ash Ullah

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Jacob Bickford, Erin Liu, Ellie Peng, Ash Ullah are Bridging the Digital Gap trainees with The National Archives.


We are four Bridging the Digital Gap trainees employed by The National Archives (funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund) and seconded across four host institutions: University of the Arts London, London Metropolitan Archives, Transport for London Corporate Archives and University of Westminster.  The traineeship scheme is designed to bring our digital capabilities to the archives sector whilst developing our skills in various aspects of archival practice.

Whilst forming our proposal for a collaborative cross-institutional project, we were cognisant of our position as trainees working in archives that sit within comparatively larger organisations, bodies with resources to support the hosting and operation of purpose-built digital preservation systems.  We wondered where newcomers (like ourselves), ‘non-specialist’ practitioners and/or those without a massive budget sat in relation to this digital preservation landscape, which could appear resource-intensive and technically complex.  We were keen to explore how digital preservation tools can be approached as readily as any other everyday DIY tool, since the practices of creating, storing, keeping and sharing material are intuitive and necessary to all.

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Bit by bit

Rachel MacGregor

Rachel MacGregor

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Rachel MacGregor is a Digital Preservation Officer at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick.


26th March 2020 – I was just finishing my first full week of working from home (I’m still here) and it felt very far from normal, particularly because I should have been in Dublin speaking to colleagues from the Archives and Records Association Ireland about digital preservation. I had been really looking forward to my trip there not least because it’s a city I’d like to see more of having only been once before. That will have to wait for the time being (although Dublin – you have been warned!).

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Hopes and dreams of the 2020 DPC Fellow

Michelle Lindlar

Michelle Lindlar

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Micky Lindlar is Digital Preservation Team Leader at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Germany and recipient of the Digital Preservation Awards 2020 DPC Fellowship.


Dear Judges,
Dear DPC,
Dear digital preservationists world wide,
Dear colleagues and friends,

Digital preservation is mostly done in the dark. Like a lifeguard in a sea of bits and bytes we ensure that all stay afloat, we take precautions, we rescue when needed, we raise a warning finger at unsuitable gear. Our job is to create and maintain safe environments where data lives – lives to be used by others. The digital preservation awards is one of the rare occasions where the work in the dark is put into the spotlight to be seen and recognized. Praise by your peers is the highest form there is and I feel very honored to receive the DPC Fellowship. 

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Introducing the Levels of Born-Digital Access

Shira Peltzman, Jessica Venlet & Brian Dietz

Shira Peltzman, Jessica Venlet & Brian Dietz

Last updated on 4 November 2020

By Brian Dietz (Digital Program Librarian for Special Collection, NC State University Libraries), Shira Peltzman (Digital Archivist, UCLA Library) and Jessica Venlet (Assistant University Archivist for Digital Records and Records Management, UNC at Chapel Hill University Libraries)


The decisions facing those who work with born-digital archival materials are myriad. While it has become increasingly easier to find technical processing workflows and lists of handy tools, documentation and guidance on exactly how to provide access to our born-digital collections has lagged behind in our collective conversations. 

Over the last several years, a few like-minded efforts in the U.S. to tackle this common challenge coalesced into the DLF Born-Digital Access Working Group (BDAWG) in 2017. Among other things, the group set out to explore the questions: What if the Levels of Digital Preservation included access?  Does access have to be an all or nothing choice? What are some of the key considerations - technical or policy - that make access to born-digital materials possible?

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NDSA Levels of Preservation: Keys to Leveraging Collaboration

Bradley Daigle

Bradley Daigle

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Bradley Daigle is the  Strategic and Content Expert / Chair for the Academic Preservation Trust  / NDSA 


As most of this audience knows, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) celebrates the expression of digital preservation in all its forms through its awards process. This year, the NDSA was honored with having been shortlisted in the new Innovation and Collaboration section of the awards for the work that its members and colleagues have done to reboot the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation. Given the talent and effort by so many who were nominated, this nomination is itself a testament to the role the Levels play within the overall practice of digital preservation.

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It takes a Big Picture to bring us further

Marcel Ras

Marcel Ras

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Marcel Ras is the Digital Preservation Program Manager at the Dutch Digital Heritage Network


The mission of the Dutch Digital Heritage Network is to develop a system of facilities and services for improving the visibility, usability and sustainability of digital heritage. And thus lend more social added value to our digital heritage. An ambitious mission that demands a lot of collaboration and connection with the individual heritage organisations. This can only happen with the right set of instruments providing help.

Imagine you are the project manager of the Album Cover Museum, just recently digitised 10.000 LP covers from your collection. The results, 10 TB of data, are stored on a hard disk. You have Ambitious plans to digitise even more in the near future with an estimated yearly growth of 20 TB. The collection needs to be preserved and linked with other digital collections in an online exhibition about music. This brings a truck load of questions to be answered now. Too many for a little museum to answer by itself.

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A year of digital preservation at Bodleian Libraries

Edith Halvarsson

Edith Halvarsson

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Edith Halvarsson is a Digital Preservation Officer at the Bodleian Libraries


It seems like it was only a couple of months ago that Bodleian Libraries’ last yearly roundup was posted on the DPC blog. While it has at times felt like time has stood still this year, looking back on the huge amount of work which colleagues have completed over the past months is a tell-tale sign that we are nearing the end of 2020.

So, what is new at the Libraries? After much research, requirements gathering and testing in previous years we are now seeing many of our proof-of-concept and pilot projects moving into their final delivery phases. It has also been a year when digital services, research, and teaching has been discussed and highlighted across the University of Oxford. In response, the Libraries has ramped up its web archiving activities to capture how the University is adapting to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a summary of our year so far.

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Tiered Storage and the Case of the Labor-Intensive Derivate

Walker Sampson

Walker Sampson

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Author: Walker Sampson, University of Colorado, Boulder; in collaboration with Keith Pendergrass, Harvard Business School,  Boston; Tessa Walsh, Artefactual Systems,  BC, Canada; Laura Alagna, Northwestern University Library, IL;


For the past several years, Keith Pendergrass, Tessa Walsh, Laura Alagna, and I have been exploring how to make digital preservation more environmentally sustainable. Recently, we have focused on building a global community of practice, striving to add environmental sustainability as a third, co-equal pillar of digital preservation practice along with digital object management and successful use. We began our work with a research article, then created a workshop protocol, and have been engaging in outreach and education efforts. We are honored to be a Digital Preservation Awards finalist for the Dutch Digital Heritage Network Award for Teaching and Communications.

We have written a couple of blogs posts on our work previously, first discussing our workshop protocol and then providing details on implementing policy and workflow changes at Baker Library Special Collections. Here I would like to describe efforts at the University of Colorado Boulder to generate guidelines on the use of three storage tiers. In our article we recommend storage tiers as a way to accommodate retention needs for a range of content – some of which may not merit or immediately need top-tier storage. I suspect many institutions may have multiple storage options available to them, with varying qualities to each – though here, we have just begun the process of organizing these options into a unified strategy.

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El Programa de Webinars de la RIPDASA nominado para los Premios de la Coalición de Preservación Digital (DPC)

Perla Olivia Rodríguez Reséndiz

Perla Olivia Rodríguez Reséndiz

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Perla Olivia Rodríguez Reséndiz - Coordinadora de la Red Iberoamericana de Preservación Digital Sonora y Audiovisual (RIPDASA) / Investigadora de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)


La nominación del Programa de Webinars en español de la Red Iberoamericana de Preservación Digital Sonora y Audiovisual (RIPDASA) a los Premios que cada año otorga la Coalición de Preservación Digital (DPC) es un estímulo al trabajo que desde 2019 llevan a cabo los investigadores y profesionales de esta red de investigación.

El Programa de Webinars fue creado por la RIPDASA con el propósito de difundir información práctica y experiencias profesionales sobre la gestión y el cuidado de los archivos digitales para minimizar el riesgo de pérdida de las colecciones sonoras y audiovisuales en la región.

La RIPDASA se creó para compartir saberes y experiencias de Universidades, instituciones de la memoria, empresas y organismos internacionales de la región a fin de favorecer la investigación científica en torno a la situación y perspectivas de futuro de la herencia sonora y audiovisual y con ello, proponer soluciones ante su riesgo de pérdida.

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Fraserburgh on Film

Andrew Davidson

Andrew Davidson

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Andrew Davidson is a student at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.


Fraserburgh is a small coastal town that sits on the North East corner of Scotland. It was the birthplace of abolitionist James Ramsay in 1733; one of the founding fathers of modern Japan, Thomas Blake Glover in 1838; world renowned fashion designer, Bill Gibb in 1943; and me, in 1985.

I am in no way suggesting that my name be added alongside theirs in the annals of the town’s history, the only thing we hold in common is that we all at one point in time lived in the same place. However, to convolute this idea and confuse our commonality further, it might be more appropriate to say we all lived in the same geographical region but arguably all lived in different places.

Growing up in the 1980s and 90s, Fraserburgh was still very much a summer holiday destination with two caravan parks that ran alongside what was once the railway line, full of families who came for the beach and, believe it or not, the mild summer weather. The harbour full of boats landing fish from the North Sea and the town centre, a thriving hub of small local businesses.

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