NDSA and DPC Announce Cooperation on Awards Programs

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) and Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) are delighted to announce an agreement for close coordination and cooperation on their respective awards programs.

The NDSA began in 2010 as a global network of collaborative partners supplying advocacy, expertise, and support for the preservation of digital heritage, promoting a vision in which all digital material fundamentally important to our cultures receives appropriate, effective, and sustainable stewardship to protect and enhance its persistent value, availability, and (re)use.  The annual NDSA Excellence Awards were established in 2012 to recognize and encourage exemplary achievement in the field of digital preservation stewardship.  Since then, 53 awardees have been honored in Individual, Organization, Project, Sustainability, Educator, and Future Steward categories presented during the annual NDSA Digital Preservation conferences.

The DPC was established in 2002 to provide advocacy, community engagement, workforce development, capacity-building, good practice, and good governance in support of resilient long-term access to digital content and servicesThe biennial DPC Digital Preservation Awards began in 2005 to raise public awareness about digital preservation and to endorse and celebrate outstanding work in the field.  Thirty-one honorees have been recognized in categories of Collaboration and Cooperation, Research and Innovation, Teaching and Communications, Distinguished Student Work, Safeguarding Digital Legacy, and Outstanding Initiative in Commerce, Industry, and the Third-Sector, as well as individual Fellowships.

The NDSA and DPC each originally focused on national concerns and membership.  However, both now actively encompass and encourage broader international participation.  In view of the overlapping scope of their goals, activities, members, and audience, and to avoid potential confusion regarding eligibility for their respective awards programs, the NDSA and DPC have agreed to a coordinated awards framework.

While both organizations will continue with their own awards programs, the NDSA Excellence Awards will move from an annual to a biennial basis interleaved with the DPC Digital Preservation Awards.  Thus, each year the international digital preservation community can look forward to the presentation of a single set of awards.  Activities performed in the two years prior to an Award’s presentation year are eligible for consideration.  Additionally, each Awards program will invite representative participation of the other on their juries, to promote greater consistency in criteria and evaluation as well as helping ensure organizational continuity between the two programs.  Both organizations will also amplify each other’s award-related communications via their own outreach channels.

This cooperation began with the NDSA’s 2021 Excellence Awards, when Sharon McMeekin, DPC Head of Workforce Development, participated in the judging by the NDSA Excellence Awards Working Group.  Kari May, Digital Archives and Preservation Librarian at the University of Pittsburgh and NDSA Excellence Awards Working Group member, is similarly participating on the DPC Jury for its upcoming 2022 Digital Preservation Awards.  There will not be an NDSA Excellence Awards presentation in 2022; that will next take place in 2023.

“We are delighted with our new cooperative approach with the DPC,” says Krista Oldham, University Archivist at Texas A&M University and co-chair of the NDSA Excellence Awards Working Group.  “It provides a more consolidated process and greater public visibility for honoring exemplary activity throughout the worldwide digital preservation community.”

”The Digital Preservation Awards are designed to endorse and celebrate outstanding work in digital preservation,” explains Sarah Middleton, Head of Advocacy and Communications for the DPC and coordinator of the Digital Preservation Awards.  “Synchronizing and sharing the spotlight with the NDSA Excellence Awards in this way means we are able to highlight even more work which deserves that recognition.”

More information about the NDSA and DPC awards programs and other organizational initiatives is available on the NDSA and DPC websites or by contacting ndsa.digipres@gmail.com or info@dpconline.org.

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