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Announcing the 2018 NDSA Award Winners

We are delighted to announce the recipients of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s (NDSA) annual Innovation Awards! Individual Awards: George Edward McCain Organization Award: Texas Digital Library Project Award: UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description Educator Awards: Heather Moulaison Sandy Future Steward Award: Raven Bishop These awards highlight and commend creative individuals, projects, organizations, educators, and future stewards demonstrating originality and excellence in their contributions to the field of digital preservation. The awardees will be recognized publicly during NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2018 during the Opening Plenary on Wednesday, October 17. Please join us in congratulating them for their hard work! Each of the winners will be interviewed later this year, so stay tuned to learn more about their work on our blog. Individual Award As the Digital Curator of Journalism and founder of the Journalism Digital News Archive (JDNA), George Edward McCain has been and is a leading voice and passionate advocate for saving born digital news. He has advanced awareness and understanding of the crisis we face through the loss of the “first rough draft of history” in digital formats. In collaboration and with support from colleagues and community members, he has led the “Dodging the Memory Hole” outreach agenda. Thus far, five “Memory Hole” forums have brought together journalists, editors, technologists, librarians, archivists, and others who seek solutions to preserving born-digital news content for future generations. By bringing together thought leaders in the news industry and information science, the forums have broadened the network of stakeholders working on this issue and helped these communities gain critical insight on the challenges and opportunities inherent in preserving content generated by a diverse array of news media, both commercial and non-profit. Organization Award The Texas Digital Library (TDL) is a consortium of Texas higher education institutions that builds capacity for preserving, managing, and providing access to unique digital collections of enduring value. Accepting the award on behalf of TDL is Kristi Park. For nearly a decade, Kristi Park has led consortial Open Access and digital preservation initiatives at the state and national levels. The Executive Director of the Texas Digital Library (TDL) since 2015, Kristi oversees a portfolio of collaboratively built and managed services that enable sharing and preserving scholarship and research data. During her tenure, the Texas Digital Library has launched a statewide repository for sharing and managing research data, joined the Chronopolis digital preservation network, and grown its membership to 22 institutional members. Kristi joined the Texas Digital Library in 2009, serving in various marketing and communications roles before becoming executive director. Prior to TDL she worked in private industry as a researcher, writer, and editor for business and educational publishers. A native Texan with deep roots in the state, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Project Award The UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description are a significant step in breaking down one of the biggest obstacles to making born-digital content accessible: its description. With standards for describing born-digital content, archivists and other professionals can more clearly communicate the quality, quantity, and usability of digital material to users. The UC Guidelines were the result of intensive research by a large group of practitioners and content experts who analyzed existing descriptive standards, emerging best practices for born digital materials, and archivists’ practical considerations. The resulting UC Guidelines are a comprehensive resource presented in simple terms, expanding accessibility beyond advanced professionals to include a wide range of practitioners. This project embodies a creative and inclusive approach to problem solving: tackling a hyper-local problem while contributing to larger discussions about widely shared challenges. The mapping to DACS, MARC, and EAD allows other institutions to easily incorporate the UC standards into their own. The guidelines are also useful for institutions new to born-digital descriptive practices and for graduate students learning how to write and compose finding aids. The most up-to-date version of the UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description can be found in GitHub. In addition, the UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description have been preserved and made permanently accessible in eScholarship, a service of the California Digital Library that provides scholarly publishing and repository services for the University of California community. The permalink to this paper series can be found on eScholarship. Educator Awards Heather Moulaison Sandy is Associate Professor at the iSchool at the University of Missouri and works primarily at the intersection of the organization of information and the online environment. She studies metadata in multiple contexts, including those that support long-term preservation of digital information, as well as its access and use; she is co-author on a book on digital preservation, now in its second edition. Moulaison Sandy currently teaches classes in Digital Libraries, Metadata, Organization of Information, and Scholarly Communication. Moulaison Sandy holds a PhD in Information Science from Rutgers and an MSLIS and MA in French, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Future Steward Award Raven Bishop is recognized for her work as Instructional Technologist on Washington College’s Augmented Archives project. This collaborative work has helped leverage emerging technologies to increase access to and engagement with primary source materials in Washington College’s Archives & Special Collections, as well as exploring ways to solve the sustainability problems institutions face in using end-user platforms to create AR content. A co-founder of the project, Raven served as resident Augmented Reality (AR) expert and visual arts educator, guiding the pedagogical considerations of the project, serving as the principal developer of the Pocket Museum app prototype, and overseeing the creation of the resource website. We would also like to make a special acknowledgement to Raven’s colleague and collaborator, Heather Calloway, for her work as Archivist and Special Collections Librarian and co-founder of the Augmented Archives project. The annual Innovation Awards were established by the NDSA to recognize and encourage innovation in the field of digital preservation stewardship. The program is administered by a committee drawn from members of the NDSA Innovation Working Group. Learn more about the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Award recipients.

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DLF Forum, Learn@DLF, & NDSA’s DigiPres 2018 Program now live!

THE PROGRAM IS HERE! We are pleased to share the full program for the 2018 DLF Forum, Learn@DLF (our brand new pre-conference workshop day), & Digital Preservation 2018: In/visible Work—on our Forum website.   Registration is now open for Learn@DLF Check out the amazing program for Learn@DLF here. If you would like to register for Learn@DLF, but have already registered for the Forum and/or Digital Preservation 2018, please contact us at!  Registration remains open for the DLF Forum and NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2018, but hurry, tickets for the DLF Forum are going quickly! (Presenting at the Forum? You’re in! Please register now, since we’re holding spots for you!) Additionally, we encourage you to make hotel arrangements soon. Looking to save on lodging or transportation costs for the Forum? Check out our Ride Share/Room Share page!   We have many more exciting affiliated events to share with you!  Sunday, October 14 – co-located with Learn@DLF The Library Publishing Coalition and the Educopia Institute are hosting a pair of in-person workshops based on the IMLS-funded Developing a Curriculum to Advance Library-Based Publishing project. Learn more and apply here. Civic Switchboard, an IMLS-supported effort that aims to develop the capacity of academic and public libraries in civic data ecosystems, is accepting applications for their second workshop through July 11!   Thursday-Friday, October 17-18 – co-located with Digital Preservation 2018 Share your subject, functional, or data expertise and help extend library curation capacity! Join the Data Curation Network for the first of three Specialized Data Curation Workshops and apply now!   P.S. Interested in sponsorship or exhibiting at the DLF Forum or NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2018? Opportunities here.   Want to support our Child Care Fund? Learn more here, and thanks to those who have already donated, including ACH!   Many thanks to our earliest 2018 Forum & DigiPres Sponsors: DPN, Atiz, Code Ocean, i2s, Preservica, Quartex powered by Adam Matthew Digital, AVP, Library Juice Academy, and Legal Information Preservation Alliance!

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NDSA Coordinating Committee Member Dr. Helen Tibbo honored with IU ILS Distinguished Alumni Award

Helen Tibbo has been honored with the 41st Distinguished Alumni Award from the Information and Library Science program at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SICE).
Tibbo, a 1983 graduate of the then-IU School of Library and Informa…

Registration for the 2018 DLF Forum and DigiPres is NOW OPEN!

The time has come! We are delighted to announce the opening of registration for the 2018 Forum and Digital Preservation 2018, taking place October 15-18 just outside of Las Vegas. Be among the first to secure the early bird rate and start planning for yet another memorable event. You’ll join guests like Anasuya Sengupta, our Forum keynote speaker, who will present her talk, “Decolonizing Knowledge, Decolonizing the Internet: an agenda for collective action.” Stay for DigiPres and hear Snowden Becker deliver her keynote, “To See Ourselves as Others See Us: On Archives, Visibility, and Value.” Our full program will be released in the coming weeks, but to get a taste of what will be on the docket, check out our community voting on the proposals that were submitted – and while you’re there, help form the program by submitting a vote or two! Program planning committees for each event will use the community’s input, in combination with results from a concurrent peer review process, to inform its decisions about the conference programs. Registration is not yet open for Learn@DLF, which takes place on the pre-conference day, October 14! Let us know on the registration form if you’d like more information, and we’ll be sure to email you when it is possible to register. It’s never too early. Register now to join us!

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Community Voting for the DLF Forum, Learn@DLF, and Digital Preservation 2018

The proposals are in for the DLF Forum, Learn@DLF, and NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2018! Now it’s time to shape the program. From May 9 – May 21, proposals will be open for public voting through the DLF community voting app: During this period, community members will be able to review titles and the short versions of abstracts, and cast votes based on their interest in seeing certain presentations as part of both the DLF Forum and NDSA’s DigiPres18. After voting closes, the program planning committees for each event will use the community’s input, in combination with results from a concurrent peer review process, to inform its decisions about the conference programs People who submitted complete proposals will be notified of status in the summer. Presenters will be guaranteed a registration place at the Forum. Voting Process Anyone is welcome to vote. You will need to a create an account on You can cast votes for as many presentations as you’d like, but only one vote per presentation. For each presentation, the proposal type is listed to the right of the “Cast Vote” button. The title and abstract will be available for each proposal. You can toggle between the three events using the top menu in blue. Voting closes at 11:59 pm PT on Monday, May 21. The planning committees for the three events will consider community voting results  among other factors, including the peer review results, when making final decisions on the 2018 programs. Thank you for helping to inform our selection process!

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NDSA Member Profile: Sally Vermaaten of the Gates Archive

NDSA Member Profiles is a new collaborative series from the Interest Groups of the NDSA. The series is inspired by past NDSA traditions such as Insights Interviews, and aims to build on and expand these types of interviews with featured NDSA members to allow for better shared communication and collaboration around the work of digital stewardship and preservation. Topics range from member questions and insights for the NDSA community to sharing failures, discoveries, and anything else in between. If you or your institution is interested in being featured, please contact Lauren Work ( or Sibyl Schaefer (  Sally Vermaaten is the Manager of Archive Solutions at the Gates Archive, where she leads a team that designs, implements, and maintains the technology and business solutions that support the work of the organization. Gates Archive has been an NDSA member since 2016. Sally joined the Archive in March 2017 and has become involved with the NDSA’s Infrastructure Interest Group. Describe your position, and how you spend most of your working time As the Manager of Archive Solutions, I lead a team responsible for the organization’s systems, infrastructure, asset management, digitization, reformatting of audiovisual materials, as well as strategic program management. My primary focus is on making sure that my fantastic team – which includes library and archive professionals, technologists, and a program manager – have the tools and support they need to do their jobs. Another portion of my role is planning and executing programs of work to implement new technology, improve process workflows, and ensure we are maintaining core infrastructure including storage and archival systems. Fostering a positive organizational culture – one where collaboration and professional respect are the norm and the team feels empowered to identify and make improvements – is also a part of my role. Work at the Archive is fast-paced, which makes a culture of trust and open communication especially important. Do you have a ongoing or finished digital stewardship project that you are particularly proud of that you would like to share? One recent project I am proud of is an email analysis pilot project currently underway. I am working with Archivists Kate Stratton and Martin Gengenbach, Systems Engineer Julio Lopez, and Application Developer Erik Hauck to test tools and develop workflows for analyzing and appraising email. We are particularly interested in methods for screening personally identifiable information (PII) and sensitive content that can scale to large email collections. Tools we are testing include Forensics Toolkit, ePADD, Microsoft Advanced eDiscovery, and AccessData’s Summation. The project has required experimentation but the team has also made good use of the growing body of professional literature about email in archives – including webinars from the SAA Electronic Records Roundtable, resources from the University of Illinois System’s Processing Capstone Email Using Predictive Coding project and the Task Force on Technical Approaches to Email Archives Consultation Report Draft. Email is a key component of modern archival collections so it is great to see the profession sharing information and exploring how archivists might be able to use email ‘power tools’ that are actively being developed for system administrators, information security, and legal teams. What are your current challenges working in digital preservation? As part of ongoing management of our infrastructure’s health, we are revisiting the architecture of our ‘digital stacks’ storage. We have just kicked off a project to refresh storage projections and requirements and to evaluate potential storage providers. Setting up more robust storage policies and monitoring mechanisms is also an important part of the work to ensure collection materials are in the right types of storage and to ensure we are adhering to sound data management practices, e.g. deleting working copies and adhering to consistent packaging practices. What have you found most beneficial from the NDSA community, and where do you think the NDSA has room to improve? I have only recently become active in NDSA. I attended Digital Preservation for the first time in Pittsburgh this fall and was impressed by the outputs of NDSA’s groups – one highlight for me was a walkthrough of the results of the Storage, Fixity, and Staffing surveys. As those who conducted the surveys know, cross-institutional and longitudinal data on the state of digital preservation is valuable in many ways including benchmarking one’s own organization practices and gaining a more concrete understanding of the current needs of the field. Being able to connect with colleagues about the nitty-gritty of digital preservation work is an obvious but key benefit of NDSA. As I learned from my involvement with a smaller professional group in New Zealand, the Digital Preservation Practical Implementers’ Guild, institutions charged with long-term preservation face comparable challenges but often in different sequences based on needs of their users and collections. This means there are opportunities to learn from institutions who have already developed models to handle similar use cases. The forum also proved to be a great place to discuss computing trends – such as the decline of the file –  that directly impact current and future digital preservation practice. What recent digital stewardship discovery have you made that you would love to share with the NDSA community? I am excited about the rapidly evolving area of image analysis and automated keyword extraction services such as Microsoft Computer Vision, Amazon Rekognition, Google Cloud Vision API, Clarifai, and Imagga. My colleagues Ryan Edge (Digital Production & Metadata Lead), Jonathan Steinberg (Asset Management Specialist), and Erik Hauck (Application Developer) have done some testing of these tools. They are finding their output is far from perfect (I love the hilariously incorrect examples of automatically generated captions in this blog post) but can be accurate enough to hold significant promise as a complement to human analysis and description, in particular for basic, bulk extraction of metadata for large sets of digital images that would otherwise be ‘hidden’ due to lack of metadata. Do you have an example of a digital preservation or stewardship failure you would like to share?  In my role at Statistics New Zealand, I managed a project Read More

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Announcing Incoming NDSA Coordinating Committee Members

We are pleased to announce and welcome two new members to the National Digital Stewardship Alliance Coordinating Committee, Karen Cariani and Sibyl Schaefer!
Karen Cariani is Senior Director of the WGBH Media Library and Archives (MLA) and WGBH Project…

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