Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Tale of Two conferences

Last week I was fortunate to be part of the AIMS team presenting our work at the SAA Conference in Chicago. Despite the Saturday 8am start of our session and the impending threat of Hurricane Irene well over 150 delegates turned-out to hear our presentation which included both an introduction to the AIMS framework and reporting our practical experiences through case studies. If you missed it or want to relive it the presentations are available online via Slideshare.

On Friday I spoke at the ARA conference in Edinburgh – the theme of which was advocacy and as part of a Data Standards Group I spoke about the skill set that I had acquired during my change of role from archivist to digital archivist as a result of the AIMS project.

Although the two presentations were different in content and context they both included the same message – an attempt to breakdown the perceptions and myths surrounding born digital archives. In talking about skills in Edinburgh I sought to highlight the relevance of the traditional archive skills in the digital age and to encourage more individuals to do something.

It also raised the question – something that arose in the AIMS unconference in Charlottesville and the UK workshop in London, of when will digital archives become “the norm”. We don’t know the exact answer to this, but I do know it is necessary if we are to successfully manage the challenges of born-digital archives and strive to meet the increasing expectations of our users.

Friday also marked the end of a six month contract during which Nicola Herbert has helped us with the practical elements of digital preservation at Hull. I would like to thank Nicola for her hard work and direct users to her guest blogs on photography of media and write-blockers.

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