13 December 2013 | 10:00 - 16:00 Portland Place, London | RIBA


The Digital Preservation Coalition is delighted to invite members to a briefing day that will explore themes related to procuring and implementing digital preservation solutions, especially where that involves establishing and describing requirements for developers, programmers and vendors.

Digital preservation typically involves a wide range of skills and it’s unusual to find all the necessary skills in one person. Even larger organisations find it necessary to employ consultants to help them develop or deploy solutions. A new market of digital preservation tools and services is emerging into which a series of companies and not-for-profit agencies are now supplying products. The market could be characterised as a meeting between ‘problem owners’ and ‘solution providers’. But in an emerging field with rapidly changing technology and unclear requirements it can be hard for the right problem owner to find the right solution provider. This problem is exacerbated in two ways: firstly collection owners typically have limited practical experience of specifying their requirements which makes it hard – if not impossible – for developers to understand and meet their needs; secondly procurement managers – already struggling with significant budget pressures - find it hard to assess statements about the quality of solutions proposed. This can add delay and confusion in a process which is already complicated. It means that even organisations which properly understand their digital preservation needs can be frustrated in solving them, while solution providers have to meet impractical and at times nonsensical expectations.

This day-long briefing is intended to provider a neutral forum where solution providers and problem owners can talk directly and without prejudice about the challenges they face. The dialogue that results should clarify the process of requirements gathering and lower the barriers to effective procurement.

Presentations will:

  • examine requirements from the perspective of the developer and the collection owner
  • discuss procedures for procurement of preservation solutions
  • present recent case studies and good practice in the development of requirements
  • introduce and examine the range of proprietary and open source solutions for digital preservation currently available

The day will include a moderated ‘unconference’ session where technologists, procurement managers and collection owners will be free to discuss and review obstacles to procuring practical digital preservation.

Who should come?

This workshop will interest:

  • Collections managers, librarians, curators and archivists in all institutions
  • IT managers and procurement managers in memory institutions
  • Records managers in institutions with a need for long-lived data
  • CIOs and CTOs in organisations with commercial intellectual property
  • Vendors and developers with digital preservation solutions
  • Researchers with interests in research data management

Outline Programme

1000 – Registration open, tea and coffee

1015 - Webinar opens

1030 – Welcome and Introductions (William Kilbride)
1035 – Specifying Requirements: A technologists’ view (Angela Dappert)
1100 – Procuring Preservation: hoops, hurdles and processes (Susan Corrigall)
1125 – Solving problems that can be solved, and proving you have solved them: a developer’s perspective (Carl Wilson)
1150 – Discussion
1200 – Service Providers Forum:

1300 - Webinar closes

1300 – Lunch (provided)

1400 – Unconference: What I need to know about digital preservation solutions but am too scared to ask
1500 – Coffee
1530 – Next steps
1600 – Close

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