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It's all about the money

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 6 March 2019

It was around this time four years ago that I (and other members of the 4C Project) were breathing huge sighs of relief. The Project had just been awarded an ‘Excellent’ rating by the European Commission Review Panel, but perhaps more significantly the Curation Costs Exchange (CCEx) had been born!

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First steps in a long journey

judith carr

judith carr

Last updated on 26 February 2019

Judith Carr is Research Data Manager at the University of Liverpool


The University of Liverpool became an associate member of the DPC in August 2018. At the time the nice people at DPC did not tell us that as a member you would be required to blog, nor that on their 2019 schedule we would be in Feb! This blog is rather like our digital preservation journey, a challenge.

We literally have only just started and none of us are experts! Nevertheless, we are trying in our small way to push digital preservation within the institution.

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Connecting the Bits 2.0 and the Digital Preservation Future(s)

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 22 February 2019

Connecting the Bits is one of the most important dates on the DPC calendar. It has changed over the years as the DPC has grown: initially just an extended working lunch for a small group of practitioners, it has grown to involve the whole of the Coalition’s membership. It is an opportunity for ALL members (whether Full Members or Associate Members, on the Board, Representative Council, Sub-Committee or none of those) to share their experiences with each other, identify shared challenges, and have a say in what we should do over the following 12 months.

For the last few years Connecting the Bits has been structured as an unconference.  This structure has allowed members to speak in detail and candidly about their plans.  This is important for the DPC as it allows us make sure our workplans are focussed very precisely on the needs of our members, and by extension the wider digital preservation community.

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Rings Around Me

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 22 February 2019

I fell into digital preservation pretty much by accident.  I am an archaeologist by training, inclining therefore to the slow lane of history.  I find a strange but productive juxtaposition between the hectic stylings of information technology and la longue durée of the archaeological record.  These themes have been for me an unexpected overture to a career in digital preservation where new technology and human history are in a sort of tension, occasionally even a sort of harmony.  But let me share an insight from this week, probably my favourite so far: there are records being created by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with a lifecycle of around 10,000 years. Think about that. It means the records have to survive longer than writing has existed.  At the last count there were 5086 rings on the oldest surviving tree in the world, a bristle-cone pine in the White Mountains of California. These records have a lifecycle twice that long.  What’s a few thousand years between friends?

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Save Your Social Media: a quick 'how-to' for downloading your valuable photos and content shared online

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 12 April 2019

This post is for anyone with a social media account - not just those working professionally in digital preservation - who want to keep their valuable photos and content safe. 

Some quick pointers on saving and backing-up social media photos and other content

Social media platforms – including Flickr, Facebook (& Instagram), Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other Google services – are designed for sharing not archiving. When you tick ‘agree’ to their User Agreements, you license your data to the platform to use how they want (with some limitations). The platforms are then entitled to store, share, and sell your information to companies who purchase data for consumer analysis. However, they do NOT take responsibility for backing up and archiving your data. That means that if a platform introduces charges and limits access – or if it disappears all together – your photos and posts and conversations could be lost. Holding all this data is expensive for platforms – keeping those massive servers up and running is a huge expense. Therefore, they do not have an incentive to hold onto individuals’ content if they are not making money off their services.

These conditions make your social media content very vulnerable to loss.

But there are some steps social media users can take to save the content they want to keep safe.

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Australasia Preserves at IDCC 2019

Jaye Weatherburn

Jaye Weatherburn

Last updated on 18 February 2019

Jaye Weatherburn is Data Stewardship Coordinator at University of Melbourne


ICDD2019 2

The Australasia Preserves digital preservation community of practice had a strong presence at the 2019 International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC 2019), which was held at the University of Melbourne, Australia (February 4-7 2019). This was the first time this conference has been held in the southern hemisphere.

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Minding the Gaps: Digital Preservation Then and Now

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 15 February 2019

Contirbuting Authors of at the Luanch of Preserveren, Amsterdam 28/11/18Author's Note In 2018 I was invited to write an essay for Dutch colleagues on the experience of the DPC and how the issues that have affected the development of digital preservation capability among our members might provide some comparison, correspondence and convergence with the experience of digital preservation in the Netherlands. Published in Amsterdam on World Digital Preservation Day, the volume presents a comprehensive and thoughtful guide to emerging requirements in this dynamic, diverse but collegiate community. Freely available online, the editors have graciously permitted this re-publication of my own contribution: in part to draw attention to the rest of the work for an English-speaking audience; in part because it is a potted history of the DPC and therefore sits comfortably on the DPC blog and with a DPC audience. Also, somewhat inevitably, this essay summarizes and re-states themes that regular readers of this blog will recognize. But it's a longer read than usual for this blog so make yourself comfortable.

The original volume is an open access publication available online:


It is a privilege to be invited to contribute to this volume on digital preservation in the Netherlands, not least because of the impressive impact that Dutch contributors and projects have had over the years. This short paper will review the experience of close neighbours at the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), identifying themes and gaps from the history of the DPC, and proposing directions for the next decade. In doing so, this paper contemplates common and distinctive challenges; and it renews the longstanding invitation to collaborate, which is a defining characteristic of the digital preservation community around the world.

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Reflections on the Digital Preservation Training Programme

Rachael Muir

Rachael Muir

Last updated on 13 February 2019

Rachael Muir is Assistant Archivist at the Bank of England Archive, and attended the Digital Preservation Training Programme with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme which is generously funded by DPC Supporters


Since qualifying back in 2013, it feels like the advocacy and opportunities around digital preservation have got increasingly visible and louder. Certainly, as wider professional discussions have become more frequent, the gap in my knowledge of this subject area is something that has been playing on my conscience as a 21st century archivist!  Arguably the main function of my role is to preserve, and what if the only records from this century that I know how to safeguard are those which happen to have been created in a physical format….

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Digital Archiving = Educational Opportunity

Jacqui Seargeant

Jacqui Seargeant

Last updated on 11 February 2019

Jacqui Seargeant is the Global Archive Manager for John Dewar & Sons Ltd (Part of the Bacardi Limited group of companies)


February the 4th is a special day within our company because it is our Founder’s Day – a time to remember this day in 1862 when Don Facundo Massó established a small distillery in Santiago de Cuba where he produced the world’s first light-bodied rum. The history of our past is well protected and appreciated on many occasions like this one, but the archive of our future (like that of many organisations) is extremely uncertain in the digital world. So, what are we doing about it?

We are starting out on our journey to establish a digital archive repository for the company and its many brands and assets. It is a large (and somewhat intimidating) project, in a company that employs approximately 7,000 people, across 200 brands and labels with more than 20 production facilities in 11 countries. We have recently recruited a Digital Archivist to help get this project off the ground, which means we now have 6 archivists who are located across four countries, all of whom will play a role in the establishment of our digital archive.

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In Response to the Web & Social Media Archiving for Community & Individual Archives Briefing Day: Archiving Images from Social Media

Rhiannon Lewis

Rhiannon Lewis

Last updated on 11 February 2019

Rhiannon Lewis is a PhD researcher at the School of Advanced Studies, University of London


As someone embarking on a PhD, one which will use digital images and accompanying data from social media as its primary research data set, attending a day that investigates different approaches to doing just that was an excellent point of reflection at an early stage! My research will investigate (re)use of digital images of collection objects from Science Museum Group, how different contexts on social media provide new understandings of the objects. Both digital images, as well as the data that accompanies them, will form the primary evidence for my research. I was therefore keen to find out about methods used by national memory institutions for archiving social media platforms. What were the main considerations when archiving different platforms? What were the best practice standards? How can I (and others) apply these to current research?

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