Tuesday, 29 June 2010

There's a New Course in Town

Hello Fellow Digital Practitioners,

Given the multiple postings on the Digipres lately in regard to education for digital preservation and curation professionals, I thought it was good timing to plug a new course offering from the University of Virginia's Rare Book School. Fresh off the press (so to speak) is "Born Digital Materials: Theory & Practice", taught by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Director of the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH), and Naomi Nelson, former Interim Director for the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory University and incoming Director for the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. I was lucky enough to be a member of the beta class although Matt & Naomi are such pros that one wouldn't have known that this was their first time around with this course.

As articulated in the course description, this class is aimed at an audience of archivists, librarians, curators and other individuals tasked with managing collections of born-digital content. Over a five-day period, topics such as materiality of digital objects, preservation metadata, emulation, migration, authentication of electronic records, and access strategies for these types of collections was discussed. Lectures and discussions were interspersed with hands on labs involving conducting donor surveys, using hex viewers, installing emulators and getting to use VINTAGE PCS AND MACS FROM DAYS GONE BY to enable file sleuthing! Needless to say, great fun was had by all. And we learned stuff too.

I would urge any and all who are engaged in digital preservation and stewardship to enroll in this course when it is next offered (likely Summer 2011). A great strength of the course are the complimentary interests and professional experiences that both Matt and Naomi bring to the course. It was a great asset that we also had a small class of colleagues anxious to share their real-world experiences as well. Don't let the reading list or computer forensics scare you - Enroll!

1 comment:

  1. I've just been reading Kirschenbaum's book Mechanisms. I saw that Rare Book School is offering this course and wondered how it is. I loved the map history course I took last year with Alice Hudson at RBS so will definitely consider this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Paige Roberts, Archivist