Highlights from NDSA’s Digital Preservation Conference 2022

The 2022 Digital Preservation (aka DigiPres) conference in Baltimore was a huge success and a fantastic opportunity to connect with colleagues. NDSA Leadership is grateful to the Organizing Committee for putting together an engaging program, to Jes Neal and Stacey Erdman for their thoughtful leadership, and to CLIR and DLF for their support and collaboration. We wanted to take a moment to share some of Leadership’s personal highlights from the days’ events:

  • It was really energizing to be in physical space with so many people I’ve only seen on Zoom for the past few years. One of my favorite sessions was Alex Kinnaman’s presentation on recovering from a ransomware attack – it made me think a lot about cybersecurity, its impact on digital preservation, and the importance of preventative measures. I also loved Dorothy Berry’s keynote about the stories that digital preservation tells.  -Hannah Wang
  • I really enjoyed each of the “Emerging Technologies” presentations; Jasmine Mulliken’s work on digital scholarly monographs was an interesting case study of a multi-faceted approach for preserving complex digital objects. With my co-chair Lauren Work, we presented some findings from the recently published NDSA 2021 Staffing Survey Report and had an engaging Q&A with the audience about the survey and resulting report. It was great to catch up with colleagues, including those whom I hadn’t seen in a couple of years and others whom I had never met in-person before but have worked with on NDSA initiatives.  -Elizabeth England
  • Due to a family emergency, I was only able to attend the first half-day of DigiPres 2022. Still, it was an invigorating half-day allowing me to reconnect with many people I have only seen virtually in the past few years and to make new digipres friends. The interactive workshop on Mailbag was a highlight for me, it was the smoothest tech workshop I’ve seen, there were nearly no technical glitches and everyone was able to follow along on their own laptops. You could tell the audience was eager to try it out and see how Mailbag could help them with their own email preservation workflows. I regret having to miss the Fixating on Fixity session and am watching the OSF proceedings repository to see if the slide deck is uploaded.  -Nathan Tallman
  • I’ve been fortunate to befriend many colleagues over the last decade or so, and connecting with them in person for the first time in several years reaffirmed my commitment to values-based practice. Perhaps for that reason, DigiPres sessions that focused on digital preservation staff and their needs and concerns drew my attention most. In particular, Elizabeth England and Lauren Work did an excellent job parsing some of the results of the 2021 Staffing Survey—for me, emphasizing how much top-down advocacy and resource support for digital preservation is needed. That presentation was followed by a detailed discussion of George Blood’s experiments with WGBH’s Raananah Sarid-Segal and Caroline Oliveira Mango on the carbon impact of cryptographic hashes, which further reinforced how valuable the dedicated time and attention of staff is necessary to refine our practices to reduce climate impact.   -Courtney Mumma
  • Like others, I was delighted to be in Baltimore for NDSA and to meet many of my colleagues in person, many for the first time. For me, the most impactful session I attended was “A Digital Preservation Reckoning: If we don’t lead with values, where do we end?” Led by Hannah Wang, Courtney Mumma, Sibyl Schaefer, and Andrew Diamond, the session engaged the audience to consider risk and accountability for the digital preservation services we use. Lots of food for thought and valuable considerations for how we approach digital preservation as a profession. I also enjoyed Jasmine Mulliken’s presentation on digital preservation and publication, “The Story of a Digital Scholarly Publication, as Told by its Preservation Format.” Exciting and extremely useful to see a demonstration and deconstruction of how a multimodal publication might be archived, documented, and stored, and how use is affected by preservation strategies.  -Ann Hanlon

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