METRO Staff Attend NDIIPP/NDSA Digital Preservation 2012

Staff from METRO, along with several hundred other members and friends of the digital preservation community, met in Arlington, Virginia on July 24-25 for Digital Preservation 2012, the annual meeting of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA). METRO is an organizational member of the NDSA, whose mission is “to establish, maintain, and advance the capacity to preserve our nation's digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations.” Digital Preservation 2012, hosted by the Library of Congress, brought together Library partners and prominent figures in technology and academia to explore solutions to the challenges of stewarding digital content over the long-term. 

Highlights of the conference included a keynote address by Anil Dash, writer, entrepreneur (and fellow New Yorker), who spoke about the importance of the open web for preservation and encouraged the preservation community to actively engage and educate the technology community in order to raise awareness of preservation issues. David Weinberger, author and senior researcher at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society, discussed how the web has changed our concepts of knowledge, and how we must be willing to accept “messiness” of information on the web. Michael Carroll, Law Professor at American University and a founding member of Creative Commons, spoke on Digital Preservation and Copyright and the role of open licenses, encouraged the preservation community to speak up on behalf of future users by organizing to become a unified voice on issues of copyright policy that affect our ability to preserve information. Bram van der Werf of Open Planets Foundation called for “preventative maintenance” when it comes to digital collections and software tools, and also encouraged organizations to invest in and develop well-trained staff to facilitate the maturity of the digital preservation community. Other conference sessions covered Big Data Stewardship, Preserving Digital Culture, Funding the Digital Preservation Agenda (a panel discussion with representatives of the Major U.S. Granting Institutions), and Digital Stewardship Training. There were also breakout sessions to demonstrate new digital preservation tools from the Library of Congress and other NDSA partner organizations, as well as group discussions such as Defining Levels of Preservation, and Planning Digital Preservation for Smaller Institutions.

METRO was pleased to see the NYC LAM community well-represented, with fellow attendees from The New York Philharmonic, New York University, Columbia University, The Frick Collection and Queens College Libraries. In addition, there were presentations from Ben Fino-Radin, Digital Conservator for Rhizome (affiliate of the New Museum), on preserving born-digital works of art, and Doug Reside of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, on employing digital forensics to recover Jonathan Larson’s original drafts of the musical RENT.  Finally, Dr. Anthony Cocciolo of Pratt Institute SILS received one of the inaugural NDSA Innovation Awards. The awards were established to recognize individuals, projects, organizations, and future stewards demonstrating originality and excellence in their contributions to the field of digital preservation. Dr. Cocciolo was recognized for his innovative approaches to teaching digital preservation practices, in particular his work partnering classes with archival institutions to work on the digitization and digital preservation of analog audio collections.  METRO’s Executive Director Jason Kucsma served as a member of the Innovation Awards Action Team.

The full conference agenda from Digital Preservation 2012, including links to conference presentations and speaker biographies, can be found on the NDIIPP website


This recap was written by Anne Karle-Zenith, Digital Services Manager at METRO