As we begin 2023 we wanted to take a moment to look back at NDSA activities over the past year.  Please take a look at the things we’ve accomplished and think about how you can participate this year!  

NDSA Leadership

This summer, NDSA Leadership went through an facilitated exercise to discuss NDSA strategy and how we engage with the marketplace of digital preservation service providers. One result of this exercise is a refreshed NDSA Foundational Strategy, which includes tweaks to our mission and vision statements, adds Transparency and Openness as values, and now includes operating principles based on our values. These new principles will be used as guidestones as we conclude this work on service provider engagement. In October, NDSA sponsored an open conversation on the Ithaka S+R report, The Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Systems. This conversation provided space for the community to react to the report and discuss its implications, you can read a summary on the NDSA News blog.

Membership Updates 

Following our new quarterly membership review process, we welcomed a total of 15 new members, with 5 of those being international members from Africa (3), Iceland, and Mexico. We look forward to working with and learning from our new members.   

As existing members, the new year is a good time to make sure your organization’s  contact information is up to date. A simple form is available to assist with this process.  

Interest Groups

Content Interest Group

  • During 2022 one of our co-chairs, Deb Verhoff stepped down and we welcomed Deon Schutte who now, together with Brenda Burk leads the content interest group.
  • Nathan Tallman spoke to us about appraisal and selection for digital preservation at our first meeting in February. 
  • At our May meeting we officially said goodbye to Deb Verhoff and had an interesting discussion about the new forms of content that are created in news organizations and the implications thereof for digital preservation.
  • Dealing with content that has both cultural and ethical concerns, as well as offensive content was the topic of the presentation and discussion led by the University of Cape Town during the August meeting. Andrea Walker, an archivist from the University of Cape Town spoke to us about an ongoing digital curation project involving the ǂKhomani San.
  • Our last meeting of 2022 was a casual affair with new members to the NDSA (those who joined in 2022) coming to tell us about themselves and their organizations. We look forward to interacting with and learning from them during 2023.

Infrastructure Interest Group

In 2022, the Infrastructure Interest Group met quarterly and focused on exploring topics of common interest through invited presentations, solution sessions where members bring their challenges and questions to the group, article discussions, and an in person event at DigiPres2022. Topics explored included:

  • Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL) and Implementation presented by Andrew Woods, Princeton University
  • Geographic Distribution in Cloud Environments
    • Presentation “Calculating the Costs of Redundant Storage” by Martha Anderson, University of Arkansas
    • Presentation and facilitated discussion on distributed cloud storage by Leslie Johnson, Director of Digital Preservation at NARA
  • Discussion post review of:
    • The Digital Preservation Declaration of Shared Values put forth by the Digital Preservation Services Collaborative
    • Preservica’s Charter for Long-Term Digital Preservation Sustainability
  • Solution Discussion Topics
    • Non-public sharing of digital born materials
    • Potential use of W3C’s Screen Capture for digital preservation
    • Secondary server storage

Standards and Practice Interest Group

  • Standards and Practices welcomed a new co-chair, Ann Hanlon (UWM), who joined continuing co-chair, Felicity Dykas. 
  • The Standards and Practices Interest Group held quarterly meetings, with the following agendas:.
    • January: A presentation by Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig, Digital Archivist at the Smithsonian, on preservation standards for digital video files. It was well attended and provided quite a bit of useful information.
    • April: A working session to identify glossaries that address terminology used in digital preservation. This will be re-reviewed and posted in 2023.
    • July: We discussed staffing for digital preservation, using two slides from the Staffing Survey questionnaire as a jumping off point. Attendees expressed challenges with staffing, and noted different staffing models.
    • October: We ended the year with a presentation on the Digital Preservation Coalition Competency Audit Toolkit (DPC CAT) given by Amy Currie and Sharon McMeekin of DPC. We appreciated the preview on the Toolkit, which was publicly released shortly after the meeting. 

Working Groups

Communication and Publications Working Group

The Communications and Publications group works to support Leadership and co-chairs of the Interest and Working groups through creating documentation, updating the website, and posting to social media and the NDSA blog.  The items below are highlights of completed activities in 2022.

DigiPres Conference Organization Committee

  • The 2022 DigiPres Conference was held October 12-13 in Baltimore, Maryland. Highlights from the conference can be found in this wrap-up post. The opening plenary video will be released soon, keep your eyes open for an announcement.
  • A virtual session to accommodate additional sessions from the 2022 Conference is being planned for February 2023.  
  • The 2023 DigiPres Conference will be held at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri on November 15-16.

Excellence Awards Working Group

  • In line with our new working agreement with the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), only the DPC Digital Preservation Awards were awarded in 2022.  In 2023, the NDSA Excellence Awards will be presented at the annual Digital Preservation conference.  
  • If you are interested in participating in this group, keep your eyes out for a call for participation!

Levels of Digital Preservation

  • The steering group has established a Levels of Preservation ‘office hour’. This is held once every 2 months and provides a forum for members of the community to drop in and discuss the Levels and ask questions. Specific topics covered within these sessions include a focus on community archives and their use of the levels and a discussion about documentation. Do come along to future ‘office hour’ sessions – we would love to see you there! (See the NDSA Calendar of Events for specific dates)
  • We were excited to cheer the Levels of Preservation all the way to the quarter finals of World Cup of Digital Preservation! Unfortunately they were beaten in the semi-finals by PRONOM which then went on to win the tournament! 
  • A Dutch translation of the NDSA Levels has been published. A big thank you to Lotte Wijsman for providing this!
  • The group continues to respond to comment and feedback on the Levels. Do use our feedback form if you would like to share your thoughts on the Levels and associated resources with the steering group.

Membership Working Group

  • A newly formed Membership Working Group grew out of the 2021 Membership Task Force, which conducted a survey on a wide range of membership issues, and published a report on their findings.
  • We will build our work around the findings of the report published by the Membership Task Force. 
  • If you are interested in joining this working group, we are still recruiting participants, please see our call to get involved!

Staffing Survey

  • The 2021 Staffing Survey Report was published in August. The report documents survey responses from 269 individuals, covering topics such as digital preservation activities and staffing qualifications. Additional information for review, including the Survey codebook and data files, are also available in the NDSA OSF.
  • In September, members of the Staffing Survey Working Group presented a peer-reviewed panel presentation at iPres in Glasgow, Scotland. A short paper is available in the conference proceedings (p. 424). An additional presentation at the DigiPres conference in October led to an engaging audience conversation about digital preservation staffing.

Web Archiving Survey

  • The Web Archiving Survey Group was re-established to refresh the survey which was last distributed in 2017
  • 190 survey responses were received — 72.6% from institutions and individuals in the United States, and 27.4% from international institutions and individuals
  • The report is currently being worked on and we are aiming for a Spring 2023 release!

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