The NDSA held its 10th annual Digital Preservation conference on October 12-13 in Baltimore, Maryland, you can read some highlights from NDSA Leadership on the NDSA News blog. During the opening ceremony, while sharing my remarks as Chair, I mentioned that NDSA Leadership worked over the summer and fall to refresh our foundational strategy. What better day to talk about our refreshed strategy than World Digital Preservation Day!

Our mission statement now reflects that NDSA fosters and incubates communities of practice who advocate, support, and provide expertise in digital preservation through their work, to benefit practitioners, service providers, and memory organizations, as well as the creators, owners, and users of digital content. These changes reflect a more dynamic and engaged NDSA that supports the community in furthering our collective goals.

The vision statement was revised to make the tone more future-oriented with some small edits for clarity. Although the NDSA mission statement makes it clear that NDSA is an international alliance, the vision statement now also states that NDSA provides national leadership in the United States on digital preservation. NDSA Leadership has long seen NDSA serving in this capacity, but explicitly adding it in our vision statement makes clear to everyone that NDSA wants to serve in that role.

The most significant changes were around the NDSA’s values and principles. Transparency was previously embedded within ethical behavior, but NDSA Leadership felt that it was important enough to stand on its own as a value along with openness. As our values state, “transparency is essential for trust and is needed for fruitful digital preservation partnerships.” In addition to this change, Leadership derived multiple operational principles from each value. The principles are meant to inform digital preservation practices but will also serve as guidestones to NDSA Leaders in their work to carry out the mission and achieve the vision of NDSA.

The goals and strategies & activities sections of our foundational strategy have remained unchanged, as has our 2020 strategic plan. It’s likely that these will also be updated in the next couple of years as NDSA Leadership delves into big topics like how NDSA engages with the digital preservation marketplace of service providers, long term plans for how NDSA hosts conferences, how NDSA engages with members to meet their needs, and finally, the ideal organizational alignment to help us achieve our mission and vision. 

Happy World Digital Preservation Day everyone! How are you celebrating, “data for all, for good, forever”?

~Nathan Tallman
Chair, NDSA Coordinating Committee


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