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The Digital Preservation Coalition and partners is delighted to announce that nominations for the Digital Preservation Awards 2014 are now open!

Created in 2004 to raise awareness about digital preservation, the Digital Preservation Awards are the most prominent celebration of achievement for those people and organisations that have made significant and innovative contributions to ensuring our digital memory is accessible tomorrow.


‘In its early years, the Digital Preservation Award was a niche category in the Conservation Awards’, explained William Kilbride of the DPC.  ‘But in each round the judges have been impressed by the increasing quality, range and number of nominations.  Last time we added two new awards. This time there will be five. The expansion is a direct result of the growth in importance and sophistication of digital preservation solutions.’

‘We run these awards for the whole community of people interested in digital preservation.  So we’re asking that whole community to spread the word and to support the awards.’ 

The Award for Research and Innovation celebrates significant technical or intellectual accomplishments which lower the barriers to effective digital preservation.  It will be presented to the project, initiative or person that has produced a tool, framework, standard or idea that has (or will have) the greatest impact in ensuring our digital memory is available tomorrow. Won in 2012 by the PLANETS project, this year the award is being sponsored by the Open Planets Foundation (OPF), the successor body to the award winning project.

‘We’re excited to be associated with the awards this year’, said Ed Fay of the OPF ‘and we’re delighted that this award retains such a realistic focus.  Digital preservation could not progress without innovative and practical problem solving.  This work is often taken for granted, so it’s important that we celebrate it properly.’

Recognising the international reach of the awards, the Award for Teaching and Communications is being sponsored by the Dutch Digital Preservation Coalition Nationale Coalitie Digitale Duurzaamheid or NCDD).  This award celebrates campaigner that raise awareness about the need for digital preservation and those who have contributed by offering specialist training.

The University of London won this award in 2012 for their Digital Preservation Training Programme. Richard Davis of the university’s computer centre reflected on the experience saying, “it was great to receive recognition for our work, and to be assured that the training our students are receiving is respected in the digital preservation community. This has given us the confidence to go on to invest in, develop and improve the programme since then."

2014 sees the introduction of three new awards namely ‘The DPC Award for the Most Distinguished Student Work in Digital Preservation,’ ‘The DPC Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy’ and ‘The DPC Award for the Most Outstanding Digital preservation Initiative in Industry.’

‘Of the new awards, I am most excited by the student award’, said Sharon McMeekin, Head of Training and Skills at the DPC.  ‘The workforce is going to need new kinds of competencies to deal with new kinds of problems. Universities and colleges are making important strides in providing students with these new skills.  We are keen to encourage and identify the next generation of leaders who will make digital preservation mainstream.’
The Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy has been introduced to celebrate the practical application of preservation tools to protect at-risk digital objects.

‘In the last few years digital preservation has moved from a research topic to a practical reality’ explained Maureen Pennock of the British Library.  ‘This means our processes are maturing and that we’re poised to have a greater impact on people’s experience of digital objects.  Concrete efforts to safeguard the digital legacy will bring great rewards, and practitioners who undertake them deserve to be celebrated.’
The Award for the Most Outstanding Digital preservation Initiative in Industry recognises the development of digital preservation made in more and more commercial or industrial contexts.

‘We’re of the view that digital preservation is a concern for all, but it’s noticeable that case studies of good practice from commercial or industrial settings are all too rare, said William Kilbride of the DPC.  ‘Commercial entities are not motivated to share their experiences.  But we also know that digital processes can have a profound impact on creating extending new kinds of business.  For example ‘big data’ has driven innovation in the economy; the clever deployment of legacy digital assets has opened up a ‘long tail’ of commerce.  These and other innovations are only sustainable because practical preservation measures are in place and we’d like to hear more about them.’

In 2012 a special award was given to mark the tenth anniversary of the DPC.  The DPC Decennial Award was won by the Archaeology Data Service. ‘ADS were thrilled to be named the winner of the DPC Decennial Award 2012, said Catherin Hardman ADS’s Deputy Director. ‘To be judged as deserving by so many respected peers within the digital preservation community made the recognition even more meaningful. Our raised profile since the award has been instrumental in us remaining of the 'go to' places for digital preservation as the repository landscape continues to change and develop.”

The Digital Preservation Awards are open to all. There is no restriction on public or private sector and there is no restriction to whether the applicant is a member of the DPC or where they are based. 

The Digital Preservation Awards have been celebrating excellence for 10 years now and is being supported by some leading organisations in the field including the NCDD and Open Planets Foundation. Hosted by the Wellcome Trust, their newly refurbished London premises will add to the glamour of the awards ceremony on Monday 17th November.

The finalists and winners will attract significant publicity and a deserved career boost, both at organisation and individual level. Those who walk away with a Digital Preservation Award on the night can be proud to claim to be amongst the best projects and practitioners within a rapidly growing and international field.

Full criteria for each category and the rules of entry are provided on the DPC website:
http://www.dpconline.org/events/digital-preservation-awards/digital-preservation-awards-2014

The deadline for entries is 28th July 2014, so to be in with a chance of gaining recognition for all your hard work, enter the Digital Preservation Awards 2014 today.

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