Teaching, outreach and advocacy for the NDSA Levels of Preservation

In October 2019 after several months of collaboration and hard work, the NDSA was pleased to announce the publication of version 2 of the Levels of Preservation.

A follow up blog post on the Digital Preservation Coalition blog highlighted in particular the work of the Revision Working Group and flagged up some of the main changes that were made in moving the original Levels to version 2.

Moving forward, the Levels of Preservation reboot effort was more than just the work of the Revision group. Bradley Daigle describes in ‘Levels of Preservation Reboot Overview and Update’ just how many working groups were beavering away behind the scenes and contributing to this wider community effort.

Here he summarises each group and their charge:

  1. Curatorial: craft a pre-LoP set of decisions/guidelines to allow non-technical professionals understand the implications of preservation decisions that happen in and around the appraisal of materials. These decisions could then be mapped to the organization’s implementation of the LoP.
  2. Assessment: explore the past and current use and adaptation of the LoP framework for institutional benchmarking and assessment of digital preservation readiness or as a method to review progress towards institutional preservation goals.
  3. Implementation: discover the use and adaption of the LoP framework to implement or improve digital preservation infrastructure, administration, and maintenance. Who is using the Lop, who isn’t – and why?
  4. Revision: update and add to the current themes included in the LoP (storage, fixity, migration, security, metadata, file formats, etc.).
  5. Documentation: articulate the ways in which the LoP may be transparently and publicly updated, commented on, distributed, critiqued, used, and integrated widely across many groups/sectors – nationally and internationally.
  6. Teaching, Outreach, and Advocacy: Explore the use and adaption of the LoP as a teaching tool for understanding digital preservation concepts and pragmatic use and to advocate for preservation resources.

Whilst most of these groups can now sit back, happy in the knowledge they have met their brief, there is one working group still to roll up their sleeves and start work – Teaching, Outreach and Advocacy.

Now the other elements of the reboot are complete, the task remains to provide some materials for teaching and outreach. As the resources associated with the NDSA Levels of Preservation have increased, there is an increasing need to ensure that the community knows what is available and how to make the most of it. These materials will be the fuel for encouraging advocacy by NDSA members and beyond.

A small working group is considering this issue currently and plans to come up with some training materials, presentations and an FAQ to help guide those who would like to get started with the NDSA Levels and associated materials.

Watch for a follow up from us, we will be looking for members who might be interested in reviewing this content once it’s ready so please shout if you’d like to help out with this continuation of the reboot work. We are aiming to share the finished outcomes of this work at the NDSA Digital Preservation meeting in November 2020.

Nancy McGovern – MIT
Sharon McMeekin – Digital Preservation Coalition
Jenny Mitcham – Digital Preservation Coalition