Announcing the 2018 NDSA Award Winners

We are delighted to announce the recipients of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s (NDSA) annual Innovation Awards!

Individual Awards: George Edward McCain
Organization Award: Texas Digital Library
Project Award: UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description
Educator Awards: Heather Moulaison Sandy
Future Steward Award: Raven Bishop

These awards highlight and commend creative individuals, projects, organizations, educators, and future stewards demonstrating originality and excellence in their contributions to the field of digital preservation.

The awardees will be recognized publicly during NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2018 during the Opening Plenary on Wednesday, October 17. Please join us in congratulating them for their hard work! Each of the winners will be interviewed later this year, so stay tuned to learn more about their work on our blog.


Individual Award

As the Digital Curator of Journalism and founder of the Journalism Digital News Archive (JDNA), George Edward McCain has been and is a leading voice and passionate advocate for saving born digital news. He has advanced awareness and understanding of the crisis we face through the loss of the “first rough draft of history” in digital formats. In collaboration and with support from colleagues and community members, he has led the “Dodging the Memory Hole” outreach agenda. Thus far, five “Memory Hole” forums have brought together journalists, editors, technologists, librarians, archivists, and others who seek solutions to preserving born-digital news content for future generations. By bringing together thought leaders in the news industry and information science, the forums have broadened the network of stakeholders working on this issue and helped these communities gain critical insight on the challenges and opportunities inherent in preserving content generated by a diverse array of news media, both commercial and non-profit.

Edward McCain would like to thank Dorothy Carner, Ann Riley, Jim Cogswell, Mike Holland, Jeannette Pierce, Randy Picht, Katherine Skinner, Peter Broadwell, Todd Grapone, Sharon Farb, Martin Klein, Brewster Kahle, Mark Graham, Jefferson Bailey, Brian Geiger, Anna Krahmer, Senator Roy Blunt and his staff, Clifford Lynch, Martin Halbert, Jim Kroll, Leigh Montgomery, Eric Weig, Frederick Zarndt, The Institute for Museum and Library Services, The Mizzou Advantage, and last but not least, his wife, Rosemary Feraldi.


Organization Award

The Texas Digital Library (TDL) is a consortium of Texas higher education institutions that builds capacity for preserving, managing, and providing access to unique digital collections of enduring value.

Accepting the award on behalf of TDL is Kristi Park. For nearly a decade, Kristi Park has led consortial Open Access and digital preservation initiatives at the state and national levels. The Executive Director of the Texas Digital Library (TDL) since 2015, Kristi oversees a portfolio of collaboratively built and managed services that enable sharing and preserving scholarship and research data. During her tenure, the Texas Digital Library has launched a statewide repository for sharing and managing research data, joined the Chronopolis digital preservation network, and grown its membership to 22 institutional members. Kristi joined the Texas Digital Library in 2009, serving in various marketing and communications roles before becoming executive director. Prior to TDL she worked in private industry as a researcher, writer, and editor for business and educational publishers. A native Texan with deep roots in the state, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin.


Project Award

Kate Tasker
Annalise Berdini
Charles Macquarie
Shira Peltzman

The UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description are a significant step in breaking down one of the biggest obstacles to making born-digital content accessible: its description. With standards for describing born-digital content, archivists and other professionals can more clearly communicate the quality, quantity, and usability of digital material to users. The UC Guidelines were the result of intensive research by a large group of practitioners and content experts who analyzed existing descriptive standards, emerging best practices for born digital materials, and archivists’ practical considerations. The resulting UC Guidelines are a comprehensive resource presented in simple terms, expanding accessibility beyond advanced professionals to include a wide range of practitioners. This project embodies a creative and inclusive approach to problem solving: tackling a hyper-local problem while contributing to larger discussions about widely shared challenges. The mapping to DACS, MARC, and EAD allows other institutions to easily incorporate the UC standards into their own. The guidelines are also useful for institutions new to born-digital descriptive practices and for graduate students learning how to write and compose finding aids.

The most up-to-date version of the UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description can be found in GitHub.

In addition, the UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description have been preserved and made permanently accessible in eScholarship, a service of the California Digital Library that provides scholarly publishing and repository services for the University of California community. The permalink to this paper series can be found on eScholarship.


Educator Awards

Heather Moulaison Sandy is Associate Professor at the iSchool at the University of Missouri and works primarily at the intersection of the organization of information and the online environment. She studies metadata in multiple contexts, including those that support long-term preservation of digital information, as well as its access and use; she is co-author on a book on digital preservation, now in its second edition. Moulaison Sandy currently teaches classes in Digital Libraries, Metadata, Organization of Information, and Scholarly Communication. Moulaison Sandy holds a PhD in Information Science from Rutgers and an MSLIS and MA in French, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Future Steward Award

Raven Bishop is recognized for her work as Instructional Technologist on Washington College’s Augmented Archives project. This collaborative work has helped leverage emerging technologies to increase access to and engagement with primary source materials in Washington College’s Archives & Special Collections, as well as exploring ways to solve the sustainability problems institutions face in using end-user platforms to create AR content. A co-founder of the project, Raven served as resident Augmented Reality (AR) expert and visual arts educator, guiding the pedagogical considerations of the project, serving as the principal developer of the Pocket Museum app prototype, and overseeing the creation of the resource website. We would also like to make a special acknowledgement to Raven’s colleague and collaborator, Heather Calloway, for her work as Archivist and Special Collections Librarian and co-founder of the Augmented Archives project.


The annual Innovation Awards were established by the NDSA to recognize and encourage innovation in the field of digital preservation stewardship. The program is administered by a committee drawn from members of the NDSA Innovation Working Group. Learn more about the 2012, 2013, 2014, 20152016, and 2017 Award recipients.