Digital Preservation Meeting 2013 Recap

August 23rd, 2013

-by Scott Reed, Partner Specialist

Last month, I attended NDIIP/NDSA’s Digital Preservation meeting. While others on the Archive-It team are DigiPres veterans, this was my first time in DC to attend this annual gathering of professionals engaged with preserving our digital heritage. As with all conferences, my favorite part is the opportunity to say hello in person to Archive-It partners. While our annual US partner meeting in Utah is just a few months away, and our first international conference in Austria even sooner, any opportunity to meet face to face with our network of web archivists is a real treat.

I presented a poster, “Archive-It 4.8 and Breaking Ground for 5.0” as part of Tuesday’s reception. Many of our partners have tried new features such as Wayback QA and metadata import with great success, but some still haven’t taken the jump. It was great to have conversations explaining the benefits of these new features, while taking down thoughts and requests for the next generation of Archive-It. Many poster session attendees signed up to receive updates on 5.0 as well as take part in our user focus groups. If you are interested in participating, please shoot us an email at archive-it5.0@archive.org.

digitalpreservationposterOur Poster. (Click to Enlarge)

A panel on web archiving featured presentations from Carissa Smith of DuraCloud and Mat Kelly of Old Dominion University. Carissa presented on an up and coming DuraCloud integration with Archive-It, providing partners with another opportunity for long term storage of their archived content. Mat Kelly shared new tools that he has developed utilizing Heritrix and browser plug in functionality to further help web archivists “Archive What You See” -initiating crawls while browsing the live web. We at Archive-it look forward to continued development and improvement of these tools.

Another panel on Green preservation featured unique strategies that some organizations are implementing (including some sections of the Internet Archive) to capitalize on our natural cool air to reduce air conditioning costs and the overall carbon footprint of our computing and storage facilities. As data centers become increasingly large and complex, these conversations will continue to play an import role as digital stewards consider long term storage of our cultural heritage.

As compared to other conferences I have attended, I was pleased with the diversity of professionals engaged with the conversation of digital preservation. A keynote talk by Hilary Mason, chief scientist from Bit.ly was especially interesting, in that it addressed how the start-up and big data community engaged (or didn’t) with questions of digital preservation. It is always thought-provoking to hear what people outside of our field think to find overlapping interests as well as understand each other’s concerns.

The breadth of topics covered in the meeting is impressive-  acquisition, digitization, web archiving, and more. The balance in presentations between on-the-ground solutions and big picture ideas was refreshing and very relevant as we continue to support our partners in 4.8 while looking towards the future of 5.0. It is exciting to consider how Archive-It partners play such an integral role in these conversations.

If you’d like to learn more about this year’s meeting, or even watch recorded presentations, Mat Kelly posted an excellent blog post with lots of details about the meeting, including videos!