DPC is delighted to announce the winners of the 2012 Digital Preservation Awards.

The Digital Preservation Awards celebrate the excellence and innovation that will help to ensure our digital memory is available tomorrow. It was first awarded in 2004 as one of the Conservation Awards and it has been presented on four occasions (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010), sponsored by the Digital Preservation Coalition with the Institute for Conservation. Although based on the Conservation Awards the Digital Preservation Award has always been distinctive in how it implements the criteria and eligibility. 

At a prestigious ceremony, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) celebrated its tenth anniversary by recognising initiatives and individuals from around the world that have made an outstanding contribution to safeguard digital resources for the future. Three agencies received awards for their exceptional contribution to ensuring the long-term security of digital collections: the University of London Computer Centre for their pioneering and popular ‘Digital Preservation Training Programme’; the PLANETS project for its ground-breaking and innovative technologies; and the Archaeology Data Service at the University of York for its outstanding work securing valuable but vulnerable research data.

The three awards were presented this year were:

  1. The DPC Decennial Award for an outstanding contribution to digital preservation

  2. The DPC Award for Teaching and Communications

  3. The DPC Award for Research and Innovation

Meet the Winners:

Archaeology Data Service

The DPC Decennial Award for an outstanding contribution to digital preservation

Awarded specially to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the DPC, the Decennial award recognizes the most outstanding work over the decade that the DPC has existed.  An intense international competition followed and finalists from New York, Washington and London were selected after a painstaking assessment by an expert panel.  But when Dame Lynne Brindley announced the winner this evening, it was the Archaeology Data Service at the University of York that came out on top. The Archaeology Data Service is an innovative group based in the Archaeology Department of the University of York.  ADS has developed and thrived with an innovative business model that allows it to preserve an extraordinary range of data while providing free access to all comers.  It ensures the longevity of data that would rapidly be lost or obsolete, and it has an impressive track record of research and innovation. 

University of London Computer Centre Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP)

The Award for Teaching and Communications

Presented by Oliver Morley, Chief Executive of the National Archives, a small team from the University of London Computer Centre who run the Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP) - an entry-level, introductory course that develops critical thinking about digital preservation, received this award. The course is designed to help all working in information management to understand effective approaches to the challenges of digital preservation, and enables students to assess the models and examples in the context of their own organisations. 


The Award for Research and Innovation

Martyn Harrow, Chief Executive of JISC presented this award to the PLANETS project.  PLANETS brought together memory institutions, small businesses, major technology providers, and research institutions from across Europe to build practical services and tools to help ensure long-term access to digital cultural and scientific assets. It established the not-for-profit Open Planets Foundation to provide the digital preservation community with services, ongoing support, and a sustainable future for its Open Source results. It advanced the state-of-the-art in digital preservation and has permanently changed the digital preservation landscape by shifting the focus to practical, sustainable solutions that are soundly supported by practice-driven research.

William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC said:  “These awards are important in showcasing the creative solutions that have been developed towards digital preservation.  Digital preservation is critical.  We know that significant parts of the economy, industry, research, government and the public life depend on the opportunities information technology creates, but the rapid churn in technology means data is also surprisingly fragile. We are the first generation that’s had to think about handing on a digital legacy, so we need to act quickly to develop the skills and techniques that will ensure our legacy is protected.” 

The contributions of nine other exceptional finalists were also marked in the ceremony hosted by Richard Ovenden, Chair of the DPC and Deputy Director of the Bodleian Libraries at University of Oxford, one of the world’s premiere memory institutions.  It is one of many agencies that have joined the Digital Preservation Coalition to help develop the new skills necessary to preserve their growing digital collections.

Digital Preservation Awards 2012 Finalists

For an outstanding contribution to Teaching and Communication in digital preservation in the last 2 years:

    • The Digital Preservation Training Programme, University of London Computing Centre

    • The Signal, Library of Congress

    • Keeping Research Data Safe Project, Charles Beagrie Ltd and partners

    • Digital Archaeology Exhibition, Story Worldwide Ltd

For an outstanding contribution to Research and Innovation in digital preservation in the last 2 years:

    • Data Management Planning Toolkit, The Digital Curation Centre and partners

    • PLANETS Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services, The Open Planets Foundation and partners

    • TOTEM Trustworthy Online Technical Environment Metadata Registry, University of Portsmouth and partners

    • The KEEP Emulation Framework, Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) and partners


For the most Outstanding Contribution to Digital Preservation in the last decade:

    • The International Internet Preservation Consortium

    • The National Archives for the PRONOM and DROID services

    • The Archaeology Data Service at the University of York

    • The PREMIS Preservation Metadata Working Group for the PREMIS Standard


In different ways, the winners and finalists of the Digital Preservation Awards demonstrate an unassuming creativity that not only deserves to be better known and celebrated: it will be vital for the on-going exploitation of high value data.

The Digital Preservation Awards are sponsored by the Digital Preservation Coalition, which is an advocate and catalyst for digital preservation, enabling our members to deliver resilient long-term access to content and services, and helping them derive enduring value from digital collections. We raise awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. The DPC is a not-for-profit membership organisation and we support our members through knowledge exchange, capacity building, assurance, advocacy and partnership.  Our vision is to make our digital memory accessible tomorrow. 

We thank our panel of Judges for their support and contributions to the DPA2012 process: 

Kevin Ashley (DCC)

Louise Lawson (Tate)

Bram van der Werf (Open Planets Foundation)

Adrian Brown (Parliamentary Archives)

Ant Miller (BBC)

Paul Wheatley (Leeds University)

Rachel Bruce (JISC)

Caroline Peach (BLPAC)

Matthew Woollard (UK Data Archive)

William Kilbride (DPC)

Dave Thompson (Wellcome)




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