Introduction to Digital Preservation
Instructor: Natalie Baur
Dates: January 7th through February 15th, 2019
Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs
This course is designed to give the non-archivists, non-preservationist a basic overview of the field of digital preservation practice in libraries, archives and museums. On completion of this course, the student will have knowledge of the history of the field of digital preservation, best practices for establishing and maintaining digitization and digital preservation programs, ethics and social justice issues related to digital preservation practices, and an overview of international approaches to digital preservation work.
Week 1: Introduction to digital preservation: history, current context, and basic principles. Students will learn about issues related to bit rot and decomposition of digital information on physical media like flash drives, optical storage (CDs and DVDs), hard drives. We will also discuss digitization as preservation in the context of time-based media such as audiovisual materials and archives. Then, we will explore special issues related to capturing and preserving born-digital content such as email, digital documents, and websites, which currently have no physical backup options.
Week 2: Digital Preservation Programs: best practices, project management, and collaboration. Students will learn about the most commonly used digital preservation standards currently in use, such as the NDSA Levels of Preservation and the OAIS digital preservation model. Based on these standards, students will then explore functional models that attempt to apply these standards to organizational and enterprise digital preservation initiatives. Students will be introduced to metadata and descriptive standards used in the digital preservation field for documenting provenance and technical aspects unique to digital archives.
Week 3: Ethics and social justice issues in digital preservation work. This week will give space and time in order to explore and discuss social justice and ethical concerns related to building digital archives, especially in post-custodial archiving models and community archives.
Week 4: International approaches to digital preservation. We will wrap up the course with an exploration of international approaches and consortia toward digital preservation work and initiatives in order to give students a well-rounded vision of the body of research that exists outside of the US and Canadian contexts.
Natalie Baur is currently the Digital Preservation Librarian at El Colegio de México in Mexico City, an institution of higher learning specializing in the humanities and social sciences. Previously, she served as the Archivist for the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries and was a 2015-2016 Fulbright-García Robles fellowship recipient, looking at digital preservation issues in Mexican libraries, archives and museums. She holds an M.A. in History and a certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware and an M.L.S. with a concentration in Archives, Information and Records Management from the University of Maryland.
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
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