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Digital Preservation Evolution: Navigating Changing Communities and Collaboration

Jon Tilbury

Jon Tilbury

Last updated on 30 October 2023

Jon Tilbury is Chief Innovation Officer at Preservica


In the evolving realm of Digital Preservation, success hinges on collaboration. However, the dynamics of working together, exchanging knowledge and providing mutual support have seen significant transformations over the last few decades.

Since the late 20th century when Digital Preservation emerged as a distinct field, those engaged in it have recognized the importance of tackling its challenges through collaboration within a broader community. However, over that time the nature of those involved and the way information is exchanged around the community have fundamentally changed, and there are multiple communities with different problems and priorities. How do they support each other as Digital Preservation expands and evolves?

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Digital Preservation for 5 Year Olds

Francesca Mackenzie

Francesca Mackenzie

Last updated on 30 October 2023

This blog post has been written by Francesca Mackenzie, Digital Archivist specialising in file formats for the The National Archives (UK) and Jonathan Isip, Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines School of Library and Information Studies (UPSLIS).


From our own experience starting out in the field of Digital Preservation, and conversations with each other on the subject we had found a recurring theme that the technical jargon can be off putting and often create a sense that the job is more complex than it is. Often glossaries can be quite daunting, so the goal of Digital Preservation for 5 Year Olds was to lower some of the language barriers of entry that maybe didn’t need to really be there in the first place.

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Working across communities to ensure an open future for books: views from Copim's Archiving & Preservation team

Miranda Barnes

Miranda Barnes

Last updated on 2 November 2023

Dr Miranda Barnes is Research Associate in Archiving & Preserving Open Access Books at Loughborough University


The Open Book Futures project, which began in May 2023 as an acceleration and advancement of the COPIM Project (11/2019-04/2023), continues to focus on the open access monograph, with an emphasis on Scaling Small. This principle “eschews standard approaches to organisational growth that tend to flatten community diversity through economies of scale” (Adema & Moore, 2021). Work Packages in both projects focus more broadly on infrastructure, governance, accessibility, financial models and revenue, metadata and dissemination, and experimental publishing, but also archiving and preservation. It is the combined approach and multifaceted, collaborative interaction of the work packages that leads to our best insights and outputs.

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Colour Coding Complexity

Somaya Langley

Somaya Langley

Last updated on 30 October 2023

Somaya Langley is Digital Preservation Manager at the Science Museum Group


If you’d asked me two decades ago what managing and preserving the memory sector’s digital and audiovisual collections would look like today, the picture I’d have painted would’ve been one where the metaphorical sky contained far more radiant shades.

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Celebrating Collaborations, Intersections and Networks of Exchange: Embedded PhD research at the V&A Museum

Katherine Mitchell

Katherine Mitchell

Last updated on 30 October 2023

Katherine Mitchell is an AHRC-funded PhD Researcher, Design and Digital at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London


For the last couple of years, I’ve been an embedded PhD researcher in the Design and Digital curatorial section at the V&A Museum, London. During my time there, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside colleagues across different departments, both when conducting my PhD research and working on additional projects. So in response to this year’s WDPD theme of concerted efforts, I want to celebrate the value of researcher-institution collaborations, and the power of working at intersections. Because as an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Researcher, collaboration is quite literally in the name. And as someone working on digital collections care, I continually operate at intersections: between the museum and academia; between curatorial and preservation concerns; and between theory and practice.

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Save Our Spiders: Crawler Traps and Sustainability at the UK Government Web Archive

Jacob Bickford

Jacob Bickford

Last updated on 31 October 2023

Jake Bickford is a Web Archivist at The National Archives (UK)


Several members of the UK Government Web Archive team were fortunate to attend iPres 2022 in Glasgow, and we were all struck by the emphasis on the climate crisis and our community’s urgent need to address it. A particular highlight for me was James Baker, Rachel MacGregor and Anna McNally's workshop The Climate Crisis and New Paradigms for Digital Access, which challenged participants to identify concrete changes we could make to reduce the environmental harm caused by our work. This theme ran throughout the conference and several of the other interventions are summarised in Matthew Addis’s excellent blog post. We returned home determined not to leave these ideas behind as we resumed our normal routine.

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The room of requirement: working together to set up a digital preservation lab at State Library Victoria

Carey Garvie

Carey Garvie

Last updated on 2 November 2023

This blog has been written by Carey Garvie, Senior Digital Preservation Specialist, Library Systems & Digital Preservation and Susannah Bourke, Digital Archivist, Description Original Materials at State Library Victoria


This year’s theme for World Digital Preservation Day - Digital Preservation: A Concerted Effort feels extremely pertinent to our experience over the last year. In December 2022, State Library Victoria appointed two new Digital Preservation positions. Together these roles have been focused on setting up procedures and equipment for processing incoming and legacy digital acquisitions. One of the first steps has been to set up a working group of staff from across the acquisitions, description and library systems teams who process unpublished digital materials for the collection. This group has been working together to map out current workflows, identify opportunities for improvement and document procedures. While this was occurring a search was also underway for a location to set up the digital preservation equipment.

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"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it!”

Fran Horner

Fran Horner

Last updated on 30 October 2023

Fran Horner is an archivist at the University of Sheffield Special Collections, Heritage and Archives (SCHA)


My name is Fran and I am a new Archivist (or ‘musician’) at the University of Sheffield Special Collections, Heritage and Archives (my ‘orchestra’). Digital preservation (the ‘symphony’) falls under my remit in this new role.

It has been a really interesting experience over the last five months getting to grips with my new role and exploring this ‘orchestra’s’ ‘symphony’. I began by meeting my fellow musicians who manage digital archives and collections (or ‘notations’) which form the basis of the ‘symphony’, such as the Special Collections and Archives Managers, a fellow Archivist, the Library Systems team and the Digital Preservation Manager, Bryony Hooper, to name a few.

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Acquiring a Digital Preservation System

Helen Dafter

Helen Dafter

Last updated on 6 November 2023

Helen Dafter is Archivist at The Postal Museum in the UK


The Postal Museum recently reached a significant step in its digital preservation journey, with the purchase of Preservica. I am celebrating this achievement, and thinking about what we need to do next to get it fully up and running. We wouldn’t have been able to reach this stage without the support and cooperation of many others along the way.

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A successful collaboration - working together to capture, preserve and provide ongoing access to the Intermedia microsite

Claire Newing

Claire Newing

Last updated on 30 October 2023

This blog was written by Claire Newing, Web Archivist at The National Archives (UK), Patricia Falcão, Time-Based Media Conservator at Tate, Sarah Haylett, Archives and Records Management Researcher at Tate and Jane Kennedy, Records Manager at Tate


In 2023 - and for the first time in either of our histories of collaborative practice - Tate approached The National Archives about supplying the first in-house captured microsite to the UK Government Web Archive. This was a near reversal of the usual process, by which the TNA regularly captures Tate’s website as part of their collecting remit to “archive central government information published on the web”.

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