Environmental Sustainability

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Digital Preservation and Environmental Sustainability: Five Themes for the Future

[sigue la versión en español] In November I was invited to speak to the members of RIPDASA in Latin America on the theme of environmental sustainability and digital preservation. This presentation gave me scope to expand a short provocation given on the same theme on the fringes of COP26 which we have also published.  It is not exactly a deep dive, but more than a toe in the water.  You can also watch the video of the presentation which includes Spanish subtitles. Thank you...

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Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation

Digital preservation good practice is not solely about how successfully we preserve the bits and enable access to them, it must also take into account the broader context in which our work sits, and the wider responsibilities we have to society and the environment. Simply put, there is no point in preserving the bits if there is no one left to read and understand them. As a community we must therefore balance risks to the digital content that we hold not only against the financial cost but...

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Environmentally sustainable digital preservation - moving from theory to practice

In April 2020 we held a webinar on ‘Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Preservation’ (DPC Members login to access the recording). In a follow up blog post, we mentioned we’d be keen to see how ideas raised in this webinar were incorporated into future digital preservation projects and initiatives going forward. Revisiting this topic we intend to explore how a range of digital preservation practitioners are addressing the issue, in particular how considerations around environmental...

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Digital Preservation and Climate Change: Provocation to and from COP26

I was privileged to contribute to a panel on the fringes of the COP26 conference in Glasgow this morning convened by the UK National Archives with the title  'Archives Supporting Environmental Sustainability'  This short post is the text of my presentation which was the five minute provocation at the start of the session.   Ladies and gentlemen it’s a pleasure to be invited to speak to you this morning. I want to thank the organizers at the National Archives for their efforts...

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BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS with CSC Climate negative / zero Carbon data center

Veli-Antti Leinonen is a Specialist at the Kajaani Data Center Program, CSC IT Center for Science in Finland In order to secure the digital preservation in long term, the preservation MUST be ecologically on a solid foundation. Otherwise, the data can’t be preserved in the future if it consumes too much of earth’s resources. Non-sustainable preservation will eventually lead into data loss or intentional deletion of data. This is comparable to subject that organizations need to be on a...

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Adapting to abrdn – Towards a Sustainable, Open Source response to Digital Preservation

Karyn Williamson is Company Archivist for abrdn.  The only thing certain about working for a ftse 100 company is that change is inevitable, and this is certainly true of abrdn. Since  Standard Life Aberdeen was formed, the company has transformed from a historic pensions and life insurance business to a rebranded futuristic fully-fledged investment company. As the company worked its way through this transformation, the digital futurist objectives of the company meant that the...

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DPC RAM (version 2) - what has changed and why?

This week, version 2 of DPC RAM, our Rapid Assessment Model was launched (including a new DPC RAM logo courtesy of Sharon McMeekin). This blog post describes what has changed and why.   When DPC’s Rapid Assessment Model was first launched in September 2019 we were aware that future revisions would be required to keep it up-to-date. In an evolving field like digital preservation, good practice develops over time and the models by which we measure ourselves should also change...

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It’s not easy being green: Evaluating the impact of digital preservation

Elisabeth Thurlow is the Digital Preservation & Access Manager at the University of the Arts London. As we challenge the long-held myth of neutrality within libraries, museums and archives, and diversify our collections, how do we avoid making decisions in support of digital preservation, which risk reinforcing historic biases? How do we select and prioritise our preservation actions whilst ensuring we are not duplicating existing biases? As well as the potential social impact of...

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Is digital preservation bad for the environment? Reflections on environmentally sustainable digital preservation in the cloud

Matthew Addis is the Chief Technology Officer at Arkivum. Concerns are frequently raised that the way that humanity generates and uses data is simply not environmentally sustainable and is a significant contributor to greenhouse emissions and climate change.   Archives and other organisations who hold and provide access to digital content are justifiably concerned about the part they play and how they can be more environmentally sustainable.

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Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Preservation: some thoughts

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...

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Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Preservation - Webinar

The cultural heritage community has engaged with environmental sustainability in many areas, but is only beginning to explore the sustainability concerns of digital preservation activities. Building off of a recent American Archivist article (“Toward Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation”), in which the authors argue that truly sustainable practice will come only from critical examination of the underlying motivations and assumptions of current digital preservation practices, the...

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A Greener Film Archive

Janice Chen is Archive Officer at the Asian Film Archive in Singapore Much has been written about the escalating carbon footprint arising from digital consumption and its resulting environmental impact. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that the world needs sweeping changes to energy, transportation and other systems to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.[i] The bleak future facing our world and the devastating natural disasters in 2018 that have hit...

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A foot in the door is worth two on the desk

Shibboleth I am asked, from time to time, how to persuade management that digital preservation matters. It’s a puzzling question in context and content. For a start, I am not sure I have ever persuaded anyone of anything. I have been on hand when people persuaded themselves but that’s not the same thing. It’s like finding the fire brigade at the scene of every major fire and assuming they are to blame. Moreover, I am not sure it’s possible to offer a global shibboleth for digital preservation...

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