13 September 2022 | 17:30-19:30 UTC+1 Glasgow | TBC

What Past Participants Have to Say

"Digital Preservationists Anonymous (DPA) is a safe and enriching opportunity to share professional frustrations, mistakes and fears. Sharing these wardrobe skeletons and horrible imaginings in confidence with other DPC members is a liberating and cathartic experience. A problem shared at DPA doesn't become a problem halved, it becomes a discussion that moves forward with perspective, expertise and solidarity."


“Fail Club was a great forum to chat about difficulties I’ve faced at work that I’ve not found solutions for. It was great to talk with others in an informal setting (pub with beer!) who recognise the real issues you face and to know that you’re not the only one out there who isn’t getting it right all the time!”



Many times what we perceive as an error or failure is actually a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth.

Richelle E. Goodrich

We all know that the most valuable learning is often made when trying things out in practice and sometimes making mistakes. Sharing that experience in a public forum is, unfortunately, not usually an option however. This event, seeks to provide a safe space to share, discuss and learn at the practical end of digital preservation.

Digital Preservationists Anonymous (DPA) will bring together DPC members (and only DPC members) to share the mistakes made, the pain suffered and the challenges encountered on our digital preservation journeys. We’ll discuss how to learn from those experiences and move forward. This will be a chance to reflect on things that have not gone as well as we liked, to consider the difficult challenges we’ve been attempting to solve, but more importantly it will also be an opportunity to take a positive approach to this work and to find ways to make progress by helping each other.

This event will have some ground rules. Unsurprisingly, the first rule is the Chatham House Rule. The second rule of Digital Preservationists Anonymous is that you must share with the group. All attendees should present a 'fail' to the group - this may be a challenge, a set back or simply something that didn't quite go to plan. After hearing these 'fails' from the attendees, we’ll discuss those issues, and work out how to learn from them and solve them.

Digital Preservation Anonymous is a tried and tested approach to facilitating knowledge exchange between DPC members, which emerged initially from discussions at Connecting the Bits – our annual members day – and was subsequently developed with help from our members. These events have been incredibly popular with our members since we first trialled them in 2017.

Venue and timings

This event coincides with the iPRES conference which will be held in Glasgow on 12-16th September. You do not need to be registered to attend the iPRES conference in order to attend Digital Preservationists Anonymous.

It has been timed to fit with the end of the scheduled programme on the 13th September and before the evening reception at 19:30. DPC staff will be available to guide attendees from the conference venue to the venue for DPA and onwards to the evening reception as appropriate.

Details of venue to be confirmed with attendees nearer the time ...but we anticipate it will involve refreshments.

Key aims/benefits

  • It's an opportunity to share challenges, set backs, and frustrations but realise that you are not alone

  • We will benefit from understanding and learning from the experiences of others

  • We'll actively work together to find a way forward with our shared problems

House rules

  • Chatham House Rule. What happens at DPA, stays at the DPA.

  • Everyone must participate and must bring along some "pain" to share with the group! All attendees should present a 'fail' to the group - this may be a challenge, a set back or simply something that didn't quite go to plan.

  • Be positive: focus on how we can move things forward

Outline for the session

  • Introduction to Digital Preservation Anonymous

  • Attendees present their 'fails'

  • Group discussion

  • Wrap up


Registration is free and open to a maximum of 5 DPC Members only. Minimum numbers apply.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register your interest in attending.

Further information and venue details will be sent once minimum numbers are reached and the event is confirmed.

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