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Digital Preservation Assessment Training



Free Resources

These resources are available for free and can be reused and modified under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.


Digital Preservation Assessment Handbook

Digital Preservation Peer Assessment

Overview of the project

In December 2016, NEDCC received a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access Education and Training grant to prepare and present a collaborative Digital Preservation Assessment training program. This program approached digital preservation assessment and training through case-study assessments, shadowing opportunities, workshops, a training institute, and a final symposium. The grant period ran from January 2017 through December 2018. Frances Harrell, Senior Preservation Specialist at NEDCC, was the project manager.

During 2017, NEDCC worked with other Regional Alliance for Preservation (RAP) centers along with digital preservation practitioners and educators to develop a framework for identifying and assessing core elements of digital preservation practice. The framework was piloted at four institutions, including an athenaeum, a municipal office, a museum, and a university library. These institutions were located in Colorado, Illinois, New York, and North Carolina. Thereafter, staff from three RAP centers met to revise the framework and begin developing related resources in preparation for the second round of assessments.

The framework was vetted in a second round of assessments during the first half of 2018, and at the same time, workshops were offered on the Digital Preservation Peer Assessment model. Participating institutions included an indigenous culture organization, a museum library, a public library, and a state historical society. These institutions were located in Alaska, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania.

In July 2018 the Digital Preservation Assessment Training Institute trained a group of twelve assessors who then performed ten assessments as part of the program. The cohort of trainees consisted of digital preservation managers, graduate school faculty, statewide preservation officers, and consultants from nine different states. Their assessment sites included public libraries, small museums, academic institutions, and community archives in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Building the Community: A Digital Preservation Symposium ( concluded the grant in November 2018. Fifty people from a range of organizations gathered for a day of discussion about the state of digital preservation practice and the National Digital Stewardship Agenda. With a focus on digital preservation program assessment, the day included case studies, research, lightning talks, a keynote address, facilitated participation among attendees, and a panel of digital preservation assessment consultants.

Following the conclusion of the grant, the Digital Preservation Assessment Handbook (including the assessment framework, glossary, questionnaire, and report template) and the Digital Preservation Peer Assessment framework were made freely available online under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.



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NEDCC is grateful for support from the National Endowment for the Humanities for its training programs, outreach activities, and web resources.


(Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these resources do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities)