It is with great pleasure to announce that the Levels of Digital Preservation work continues to roll out. In these waning days of 2020, the Curatorial Team of the Levels has released its first published edition of the Digital Curation Decision Guide. This guide forms the basis of a series of decision points around collections and the implementation of a preservation strategy. It is not just for the preservation specialist but rather, it attempts to highlight the preservation implications of collections decisions. It is the group’s desire that the Guide will facilitate dialogue between and among stakeholders across a given organization and inculcate a preservation mindset without necessarily having to be a deep expert. It is also not prescriptive. It is a non-linear exploration of multiple vectors that make up curatorial decision-making such as collection development, intellectual and security considerations, and technical capacity. The Guide has both a visual and prose version to explore from different angles the basic factors in complex infrastructure and collections management decisions. 

The Decision Guide will be extended in the future, linking up with other efforts such as actively maintained working definitions, policy frameworks and examples, as well as the revision of the Levels, themselves.

I would like to thank the many people who gave us exceptional feedback along the way. This group started in late 2018 and worked for two years to craft something we hope will form a part of your organizational practice. In particular, I want to spotlight the work of the individuals who stuck it out to the very end:

  • Angela Beking – (co-Chair) Library and Archives Canada
  • Bradley Daigle (co-Chair) – University of Virginia / APTrust
  • Ian Collins – University of Illinois Chicago
  • Tawnya Keller – University of Utah
  • Donald Mennerich – NYU Libraries
  • Rosalyn Metz – Emory University
  • Leah Prescott – Georgetown University Law Library
  • Nathan Tallman – Penn State University
  • Walker Sampson – University of Colorado Boulder
  • David Underdown – The National Archives (UK)
  • Simon Wilson – Independent Archivist
  • Lauren Work – University of Virginia

This group represents a broad spectrum of organizational perspective and creative talent. Thanks to their collective effort, we have something that we hope will be of use to the community. That said, we also understand that the Digital Curation Decision Guide is just the beginning and that with increased use and refinement, we will need to update and improve on what we have started. We hope that you, the preservation community (broadly defined), use this guide to engage your colleagues and provide the clear pathways to preserving our cultural record.

~ Bradley Daigle, Curation Working Group Chair

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