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Digital Preservation Assessment Training

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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 approaches digital preservation assessment and training through case-study assessments, shadowing opportunities, workshops, a training institute, and a final symposium. See below for free resources resulting from this grant as well as an overview of the project and grant activities.

Free ResourcesDAT-Handbook-Web

Available January 2019

These resources will be released for public use in the January 2019, following input from the Institute cohort.

Digital Preservation Assessment Handbook

Assessment framework
Pre-visit questionnaire
Glossary
Report template
Resource list to accompany reports

Digital Preservation Peer-Assessment

Workshop curriculum

Overview of the project

Information on practical and sustainable stewardship of digital collections must be a critical central component of an institution’s strategic planning. Ongoing financial challenges and continuing efforts to do more with less affect all collecting institutions, and despite this, they are being pressured by patrons, researchers, administration, and funders to not just improve physical preservation and access but also to provide digital access to collections. The emerging and evolving needs related to the care of digital materials leave smaller institutions, especially those without the resources to hire on new professionals, at a disadvantage. These organizations steward a significant amount of our local, regional, and national heritage, and they have a desire to digitize and provide access. 

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 approaches digital preservation assessment and training through case-study assessments, shadowing opportunities, workshops, a training institute, and a final symposium. 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 across the country. 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 Digital Preservation Peer-Assessment procedures. In July 2018 the Digital Preservation Assessment Training Institute trained a group of 12 assessors who then each performed an assessment as part of the program. A Digital Preservation & Assessment Symposium will wrap up the grant, and the final assessment framework and the workshop curriculum will be made freely available online in January 2019.

Twelve information professionals and preservation consultants participated in this 1.5 day training institute on Digital Preservation Assessment and conducted assessments during August and September 2018. The cohort consists of Digital Preservation managers, graduate school faculty, statewide preservation officers, and consultants from 9 states. The assessment sites include public libraries, small museums, academic institutions, and community archives. After the assessment reports were completed, the cohort provided feedback that will informed the public release of the Free Resources listed above. Click HERE for more information.

grant activities 

Taskforce Meeting
April 6-7, 2017
Andover, MA

This group reviewed existing assessment frameworks, identified the elements of a digital preservation assessment for a smaller institution, and began drafting the self-assessment tool. Attendees were as follows: 

  • Tom Clareson, LYRASIS
  • Nicholas Connizzo, Vermont State Archives & Records Administration
  • George Coulbourne, Library of Congress
  • Dyani Feige, CCAHA
  • Leigh Grinstead, LYRASIS
  • Frances Harrell, NEDCC
  • Jennifer Mullins, Dartmouth College
  • Annie Peterson, LYRASIS
  • Jaime Schumacher, Northern Illinois University and POWRR
  • Nicole Shea, Boston Public Library
    ■ Peter Boticelli, Simmons College
    ■ Sam Meister, Educopia
    ■ Lance Stutchell, University of Michigan

Pilot Round of Digital Preservation Assessments
June-August 2017

Four institutions participated in the pilot round of digital preservation assessments, including an athenaeum, a municipal office, a museum, and a university library. These institutions were located in Colorado, Illinois, New York, and North Carolina.

RAP Meeting
October 3, 2017
Chicago, IL

This group reviewed reports from the pilot round of assessments, began defining a report template, distilled lessons-learned from the pilot round, and spent time revising the assessment framework and the pre-visit questionnaire in preparation for the next round. Attendees were as follows:

  • Dyani Feige, CCAHA
  • Leigh Grinstead, LYRASIS
  • Frances Harrell, NEDCC
  • Annie Peterson, LYRASIS
  • Danielle Spalenka, NEDCC
  • Ann Marie Willer, NEDCC 

Second Round of Digital Preservation Assessments
January-March 2018

Four institutions participated in the second round of digital preservation assessments, including 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.

Digital Preservation Peer-Assessment Workshops

These half-day workshops are designed for representatives from libraries, archives, museums, or other cultural heritage institutions. Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the challenges of digital preservation, the ways that assessment can make those challenges more manageable, the steps in digital preservation assessment, and the tools to perform a basic peer assessment.  


February 20, 2018

9:00am - 12:00pm 

Alaska State Library Archives and Museum
Juneau, Alaska


February 27, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm


Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA  

March 1, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm

Nebraska History Museum (Gilmore Room)
131 Centennial Mall North
Lincoln, NE


April 18, 2018
1:00pm - 4:00pm


Andover Landing Conference Center
Andover, MA

 

Training Institute
July 31 – August 1, 2018
Andover, MA

Twelve information professionals and preservation consultants participated in this 1.5 day training institute on Digital Preservation Assessment and conducted assessments during August and September 2018. The cohort consists of Digital Preservation managers, graduate school faculty, statewide preservation officers, and consultants from 9 states. The assessment sites include public libraries, small museums, academic institutions, and community archives. After the assessment reports were completed, the cohort provided feedback that informed the public release of the Free Resources listed above. Click HERE for more information.

 

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Building the Community: A Digital Preservation Symposium
November 9, 2018
Boston, MA 

Exploring research, assessment, and practical experience in a participatory meeting 

For more information about this program go to:  http://dat.nedcc.org

50 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 data gathered from the digital preservation environment in recent years, lightning talks, a keynote address, facilitated participation among attendees, and a panel of digital preservation assessment consultants. For more information about the Symposium, go to:  http://dat.nedcc.org.

 

 

Presented by:

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 In Partnership With:

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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.

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