By Courtney Mumma, Deputy Director of Texas Digital Library
In celebration of World Preservation Day 2021, TDL’s Deputy Director and Digital Preservation Services manager reflects on digital preservation progress and collaborations over the last several years.
Since 2017, Texas Digital Library has tripled the number of members who benefit from our digital preservation consulting and storage services. Even those who aren’t yet subscribed to TDL Digital Preservation Services have made exciting strides in their own local workflows as they consider when to add our services to their workflows.
I love seeing TDL members help each other out on the TDL Community Slack — offering advice, warning about pitfalls, and sharing resources that have been helpful to them.
Over the last several years, Texas institutions have made a lot of progress together. An engaged group of archivists, technologists and librarians share knowledge and resources via the A-TEX (Archivematica Texas Users Group). TDL’s membership in the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) started off by winning their Innovation Award in 2018 and grew to my elected position on the Coordinating Committee (2020-2023). TDL contributed to the new Version 2.0 of the NDSA Levels of Preservation, for which we shared the prestigious International Council on Archives 2020 Digital Preservation Award for Collaboration and Cooperation with the rest of the Working Group. TDL member engagement on NDSA committees and working groups also continues.
Together, TDL members and friends started the Web Archiving Texas Interest Group (WATXIG), and in just two years that group has inventoried what folks are capturing in Texas and strategize ways to begin collaborative efforts in overlapping areas. WATXIG was also the primary driver of the creation of a TDL Archive-It Consortial Discount of 10% to all TDL member users.
TDL has strategically committed to provide a path to digital preservation from all of our relevant hosted infrastructures. We have seen several members take advantage of the Private LOCKSS Network for their OJS instances. We implemented a TDL version of the DSpace Replication Task Suite so that our hosted repository members who subscribe to Digital Preservation Services can send content directly from their IRs to DuraCloud@TDL. Additionally, we have invested in the development of a Chronopolis distributed digital preservation backend to the Texas Data Repository Dataverse.
Our collaborations with Lyrasis/DuraCloud and UCSD’s Chronopolis, as well as the Digital Preservation Services Collaborative (DPSC), the Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (PASIG), the Northeast Document Conservation Center’s Digital Directions, have strengthened and grown. TDL senior developer, Nick Woodward, and systems administrator, Clark Kim, both work closely with the Chronopolis team to preserve, store and distribute TDL members, UCSD, and Lyrasis/DuraCloud customer data securely across multiple nodes. Nick is also one of the leading DuraCloud developers outside of Lyrasis, its institutional home.
The DPSC committed to a set of shared values and is working towards ways to help demystify digital preservation and educate practitioners about the pitfalls of using proprietary vendors for digital preservation processing and storage. And, though PASIG wasn’t able to have its annual conference during the pandemic, our steering committee is still planning to host the next one in Madrid in 2022. Furthermore, the pandemic drove us to start building more digital content, including an upcoming free webinar series and a refreshed website.
TDL also partnered with UCSD in an IMLS planning grant to assess the feasibility of offering distributed digital preservation services to members with private and sensitive content. A report outlining the grant work and deliverables will be published before the end of 2021, and together we’ll decide our next steps based on those findings.
It’s been a little over four years since I started at TDL and published the Texas Levels of Preservation after interviewing and creating digital preservation dossiers for our members. We think it’s time for a refresh, so we have launched a survey to help us share resources, strategies, and experiences that will strengthen Texas’ commitment to digital preservation even more. We want to learn more about the various local tools, workflows, and policies you have in place so that we can shape the digital preservation training we offer in the coming years. Please take a little time to complete the survey by the end of this month, and we’ll share the results on the TDL Digital Preservation wiki.
Complete the survey here: https://forms.gle/aCyoX3sPWX22x7yM8
Finally, you are invited to join the WATXIG this December when we welcome Ilya Kremer and Lorena Ramirez-Lopez to demonstrate their Webrecorder capture and replay tools. Their exciting suite of open source tools and formats provide an accessible and affordable approach to web archiving, and could empower us to strategically collaborate even better in the coming years.
Information and registration is here: https://www.tdl.org/event/webrecorder-tools-more/
Digital preservation is one of my career passions. I enjoy talking about it, teaching it, and working with our members to find the best path forward for their digital preservation strategies. If you are interested in learning more about how you can join Texas Digital Library and use our digital preservation services, I invite you to visit our website, sign up for one of our interest groups, or email us at email@example.com.
ABOUT the TDL
Texas Digital Library is a consortium of library and archives professionals that propels the Academy forward by maintaining our past and preparing for the future. Membership in TDL is open to any academic library. Find out more by visiting https://www.tdl.org/members/membership/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.