I recently attended the ICPSR Digital Preservation Management workshop, held in June at SUNY Albany. This amazing course is a jam-packed five-day program on the intricacies of developing and managing a digital preservation program within a library or archive setting. No small task, but the amazing instructional team led by Nancy McGovern and Kari Smith was certainly up to the challenge.
The workshop actually started several weeks prior to the first day, with some pre-requisite “homework” to build a good foundation in core digital preservation concepts. If you’re seriously interested in digital preservation and you haven’t read these documents, do so immediately! Yes, some of them are very long and detailed, but this is important stuff and it’s well worth the time.
- Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS)
- Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities
- Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information. Final Report of the Blue Ribbon Task force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access
- And of course, the ICPSR Digital Preservation Management Tutorial
I had already read these documents, some of them in great detail with a highlighter, and some of them with just a quick skim, so this was a nice refresher on some of the concepts we need to focus on as we build our digital preservation infrastructure.
I got so much out of this workshop that it’s hard to pare down my notes (see picture below of the giant binder-o-information we received on day one).
But if I had to sum it up in a sentence, I’d say the most useful outcome (other than meeting a bunch of really great digital archivists and librarians) was that I now have enough information to formulate a plan. We’ve been talking for a while about what we need to have to support digital preservation; now we know how to get there.
And, in addition to the awesome binder-o-information, I now have a full-color composite model of the OAIS Functional Entities that lives on the wall above my desk.
Nerdy, yes, but I love that I can look at it every day and see the ultimate goal right in front of me.
Written by Helen Bailey