L-130v. Digital Sustainability for Cultural Collections

Nancy Y. McGovern Kari Smith

Course Length: 12 hours
Course Week: 31 July–4 August 2023
Format: online only
Fee: $800

Good practice for digital sustainability involves the application and adaptation 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 assures 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.

Course History

Nancy Y. McGovern and Kari Smith teach this course online.
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  • Nancy Y. McGovern
  • Kari Smith

Nancy Y. McGovern

Nancy Y. McGovern is Associate for Digital Preservation Instruction and Practice at Global Archivist LLC. She is the Director of the Digital Preservation Management (DPM) workshop series that has been offered more than 60 times since 2003. The DPM curriculum has been used by and formed the basis for multiple graduate, continuing education and professional certificate programs. Her research and community interests include increasing organizational capacity for developing sustainable digital preservation programs, building an inclusive digital community through radical collaboration, and enabling our community to continually respond to ongoing technological change.

She has over 30 years of experience with preserving digital content. Her previous positions include digital preservation manager at MIT Libraries, 2012–2022; the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), 2006–2012; Cornell University Library, 2001–2006; and the Open Society Archives, 1996–1998. She was responsible for appraisal review and accessioning at the Center for Electronic Records of the U.S. National Archives, 1986–1996. She completed her Ph.D. at UCL in 2009 on technological responsiveness for digital preservation.

She is a Fellow and past president of the Society of American Archives (SAA), a Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) Fellow, and a Digital Preservation Pioneer designated by the Library of Congress. She received the SAA Preservation Publication Award for the DPM online tutorial in 2004 and for the Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation (ANADP) volume in 2013 and the NDSA Excellence Award for Beyond the Repository Toolkit in 2021. She is the author of “Digital Archive and Preservation Framework (DAP),” in The Handbook of Archival Practice, 2021; “Radical Collaboration,” special issue of Research Library Issues (RLI) 296,  2018; and “Current Status of Trustworthy Systems,” in Building Trustworthy Digital Repositories, 2016.

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Kari Smith

Kari Smith’s work and research are primarily centered on digital object lifecycle issues and information management solutions for cultural and archival materials. She has over 20 years of experience working with electronic records, digital archives, and digitized cultural heritage at universities in the United States and in other sectors. She enjoys coaching people who are starting digital archives / digital preservation programs for their institutions and who are interested in extending their workflows using tools and techniques suitable for digital preservation or digital archival processing.

She has co-presented the RBS seminar Digital Sustainability with Nancy McGovern and has been a Senior Presenter since 2008 for the Digital Management Preservation workshops directed by McGovern. She also co-teaches the Digital Curation course for the Society of American Archivists. Kari taught three semesters of the postgraduate course “Archives and Records Management” for the Information Science program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a tutor for the CAIS program at the University of Dundee. In 2022 Kari started her own consulting company, Global Archivist LLC, after working for ten years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Institute Archives and Special Collections department as the Digital Archives Program Manager and the Institute Archivist. She has provided coaching and consulting services and volunteers in her local Maine region with historical societies and for the Frances Perkins National Historic Landmark.

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