Krista Oldham is the University Archivist at Texas A&M University, College Station, where her responsibilities include overseeing the acquisition, description, and preservation of University records, as well as supporting and promoting their use. Additionally, Krista provides oversight for the Texas A&M records management program. Prior to starting her position at Texas A&M, Krista worked at Clemson University as the University Archivist, Haverford College as the College Archivist/Records Manager for Quaker and Special Collections and at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Special Collections as the Senior Archivist and the Senior Archives Manager. In addition to her archival work, Krista served as Co-Director of the Arkansas Delta Oral History Project and co-author of The Arkansas Delta Oral History Project: Culture, Place, and Authenticity, published in 2016.
Krista also co-chaired the Excellence Awards Working Group from 2021 to 2023. So, we reached out to her to ask for her perspective on these awards.
In what way are you connected to the National Digital Stewardship Alliance?
Currently, I am serving on the NDSA’s Long-term Conference Planning Working Group and I just confirmed my commitment to serving as a member of the NDSA Storage Survey Working Group.
From your perspective, what do the NDSA Excellence Awards represent?
I think that they represent peer recognition of excellence in the field of digital preservation. I think the award encourages and motivates individuals to strive to advance digital preservation through meaningful contributions at an individual level and an institutional/programmatic level.
What efforts/advances/ideas of the last few years have you been impressed with or admired in the field of data stewardship and/or digital preservation?
For me, I have really enjoyed the community-driven digital preservation projects that have emerged in the last few years. I am extremely impressed when folk get together, collaborate, and pool resources to help others achieve their goals.
How do you feel the Excellence Awards encourage practitioners of digital stewardship/preservation?
I hope it encourages ideas and shows folks that their hard work matters and that the future success of digital preservation is a collaborative venture.
What do you currently see as some of the biggest challenges in digital preservation?
Not having the appropriate amount of resources and that can be monetary or staffing. The NDSA Staffing Survey, which I was a member of the WG, clearly indicated that staffing-levels are not where they need to be. I also think a challenge is working toward being environmentally sustainable with our digital preservation practices.