RBS Seminar: Digital Sustainability for Cultural Collections

Date: 11 December 2017 – 12 December 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. daily
Location: MIT Libraries (Building 14, Room 132)
Presented by: Nancy Y. McGovern & Kari R. Smith

Rare Book School is sponsoring a two-day seminar at the MIT Libraries (14N-132) in Cambridge, MA (map) on Monday and Tuesday, 11–12 December 2017 (just prior to the IEEE workshop Computational Archival Science: digital records in the age of big data).

This seminar has been designed to be of interest to curators and librarians of all kinds who are or may become responsible for the long-term management of digital content, but signup is open to anyone with an interest in the topics covered. The cost to attend the seminar is $500.

As space is limited, signup for the seminar will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage “early bird” signup before 8 November, to improve your chances of getting a seat. Please note: as of 8 November, the seminar is at capacity; additional registrants will be placed on the waitlist.

Seminar Description

Good practice for digital sustainability involves the application and adaption of an array of skills that accumulate through exposure and experience, and that evolve in response to technological change. Digital sustainability is grounded in standards that inform and reflect good practice. Students in this seminar will explore core concepts and capabilities of digital practice as illustrated by scenarios, examples, and demonstrations with hands-on components in small groups. This seminar assumes familiarity with digital content (personal or organizational) and curiosity about the opportunities and implications of digital sustainability.

Students with varying levels of experience and expertise are welcome. In their personal statements, students should provide a brief description of their interest in digital content and digital sustainability, to help inform the seminar examples and exercises.

Seminar Schedule

Each day’s sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m., with morning and afternoon breaks as well as a noon lunch hour. Following the Tuesday sessions there will be a closing reception from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Monday sessions

  • Digital Practice: Scope & Concepts
  • Digital Content Creation: Scenarios & Considerations
  • Stewardship & Sustainability: Opportunities & Challenges
  • Visit to Digital Sustainability Lab for Demonstrations

Tuesday sessions

  • Digital Practice: Human Skills
  • Digital Practice: Tools & Workflows
  • Sustainability Factors & Options
  • Group Discussion: “What’s next when we get home?”

Seminar Instructors

Nancy Y. McGovern is the Director for Digital Preservation at MIT Libraries. She directs the Digital Preservation Management (DPM) workshops, an award-winning program offered more than fifty times in a dozen countries since 2003. She has thirty years of experience with preserving digital content, including senior positions at ICPSR; Cornell University Library; the Open Society Archives; and the Center for Electronic Records of the U.S. National Archives. She chairs the Research Forum of the Society of American Archives (SAA) that she co-founded in 2007. She is a Fellow of SAA and a past president. She completed her Ph.D. on digital preservation at University College London in 2009.

Kari R. Smith is the Institute Archivist and Program Head for Digital Archives at the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections. In her most recent role at MIT as Digital Archivist, Kari built up the capacity to accession born-digital archives, implemented tools and techniques for processing digital archival and special collection material, and provided donor services related to digital content. Prior to joining MIT Libraries in 2011, she was Head of the Visual Resource Collections and Media Services at the University of Michigan Department of the History of Art. She is a member of the Society of American Archivists, the founder of the NEA Roundtable on Digital Archives, and President of the digital forensics community BitCurator Consortium through 2018. Kari earned her B.A. in International Relations from George Mason University and her M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan.

Signup Process

  • Fill out the signup form below. Early bird registration (before 8 November) is strongly recommended. If you have any trouble with the signup form, please email seminars@virginia.edu or call Amanda Nelsen at 434-243-3948.
  • You will receive an email confirming your seminar registration and containing a link through which to submit payment. Your payment will serve to reserve your seat in the seminar.
  • Final details will arrive via email prior to the event.