Infopeople Webinar: Fundamentals of Digital Preservation

On Thursday, December 8, I’ll start a series of webinars on core issues in digital preservation for Infopeople, a library services group in California that is supported by the California State Library and the California Preservation Program. Dec. 8 is the first installment in a four-part series. The presentation on December 8th gives a framework for critical thinking about digital preservation, rather than giving a list of interesting acronyms and specific technologies.

Future webinars in the series will provide a deeper introduction to file formats used in digital libraries and the core issues in reliably storing digital content for the long-term:

  • Webinar #2: Tuesday, January 10: Text and Image Formats
  • Webinar #3: Tuesday, February 7: Storing and Managing Digital Collections
  • Webinar #4: Tuesday, March 20: Audio and Video Formats

Each webinar is only an hour, so we leave out more than we cover, of course. I’ve created an additional post with some follow up links to resources:

All of these webinars are intended to help you get started in building digital collections, not to raise barriers to building good digital collections. In subsequent sessions we’ll look at specific types of digital collection to assess current standards and future risks, but we’ll do that through the lens of doing the things worth doing right now while also being smart about limiting future preservation burdens.

For the first installment, we’ll start with a trip back in time through the decipherment of Linear B, as a way to show that the issues at stake in digital libraries are not foreign to our profession. Instead, I suggest that they are substantially the same issues we’re used to, presenting themselves in a new technology and media.

But the technology and media are new! From Linear B, we turn to some of the specific quirks of digital media, formats, and encodings, and wrap up with a little discussion of timelines – what matters today? what matters in the incipient fututre? what can I leave for some future generation of archivists?

I have presented versions of this material before, and the feedback has been positive, especially for librarians and archivists who need to have digital preservation in their planning, but don’t have a degree in computer science. I hope you’ll tune in. Registration and information about related events here:

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