Survey – What are your digital preservation training needs?

Sunset in binoculars

Over the past few weeks, Ed and I have worked with colleagues from the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) to produce the Digital Archiving & Preservation Training Needs Survey (#DAPTNS15).

All three organisations have a long history of working collaboratively with the aim of promoting best practice and providing training and advice for an ever growing international workforce, faced with the issue of long-term preservation and sustainability of born digital content. Continue reading

Tim Miles-Board – moving on to new challenges

Goodbye image

As some of you may already know I have been working with the Research Technologies team for just over 12 months now. I came to ULCC from the University of Southampton, where I had spent a long time working with the EPrints repository platform. ULCC was an exciting opportunity for me to meet new people, develop on different software platforms and take on new challenges.

What I wasn’t expecting to find at ULCC was a new calling – I have become thoroughly hooked on developing digital archives and cultural heritage projects. So when an opportunity came up to get my hands on the digital assets of the world famous Tate gallery, I couldn’t resist! I’m pleased to announce I’ll be starting a new role with Tate in the Autumn.

In the meantime, as you might expect, we are very busy at ULCC HQ putting arrangements in place to ensure a smooth transition. This includes actively recruiting to build a larger team – ULCC are aiming to have a total of 3 full time developers supporting and maintaining the Research Technologies service going forward, ensuring that we can keep customer needs and requirements at the forefront of what we do.

It’s a shame to be leaving such a great team behind but I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.

So it will be farewell from me in a couple of month’s time – I hope to be able to catch up with you all before I leave.

Best regards,


Jisc Data Spring: Integrated RDM for Small and Specialist insitutions

Phase 1 of the Jisc research data spring programme came to an end at the start of last week with an event at Imperial College London. After pooling our ideas at an initial workshop in February, ULCC partnered with CREST, UCA, Arkivum and Leeds Trinity University for an initial 3 month period to explore integrated research data management solutions for the sort of small and specialist institutions that make up much of the CREST membership. Continue reading

Volunteers wanted! QA our planned online course


UPDATE 26/06/2015: Many thanks to all those who responded. The call for volunteers is now closed.

We are currently developing an online version of our award-winning Digital Preservation Training Programme.

We are seeking volunteers to perform some quality-assurance on the online Beginner Course content, and we have places for about 3-5 volunteers.

We’d supply you with a short written brief for how to perform this QA, and we’d like to get your honest responses to the way this teaching is delivered online, so that we can make it the best experience we possibly can.

We’re especially interested in hearing from previous students of the DPTP face-to-face course.

There are 25 Modules in all. We anticipate it shouldn’t take you more than 24 hours of effort to complete the QA and deliver your written feedback. If that sounds too daunting, even if you could just QA five Modules, that would help!

We’d like to get all feedback collected by end of July 2015.

In return, we’d be happy to acknowledge your contribution on the published Moodle later this year.

If interested, please email Ed Pinsent directly.

IRMS15 – And the winners are…


Earlier this month we attended our first ever IRMS (Information and Records Management Society) conference, our colleague Ed gave a talk and we had an exhibition stand. Seeing that we were the ‘new kids on the block’ we decided to run a little competition.

We offered delegates the chance to win 2 free places, worth £570 each, on our DPTP Beginners course and we were surprised the general level of interest from delegates.

Nearly 30 delegates participated in the raffle and earlier this week randomly pulled two business cards out of the stack.

The winners are:

  1. Kay Young, PHSO
  2. Michelle Alexander, University of Liverpool

We look forward welcoming them both on one of our future courses.

IRMS Conference 2015 – ‘Information: The New Currency’

Ed at IRMS15

Last week we attended the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) conference in Newport. We have quite a few records managers attending our DPTP courses, so we decided to go along to the conference to tell records managers more about our consultancy work and our training in digital preservation.

Ed had a paper accepted, in which he talked about the ‘dream’ of integrating digital preservation within the records management workflow. Slides from the talk were heavily requested!

We also had a stand, and had a lot of great conversations with records managers from all over the UK and beyond, about their digital preservation needs. Read more about our #IRMS15 experiences in our Storify of the event below:

We ran a competition, giving away two places on our ‘DPTP: Introduction to Digital Preservation’ two-day course. We’ll be announcing the winners soon…

Preview – IRMS conference 2015


After becoming a member of the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) earlier this year, we decided to exhibit and attend our first ever IRMS conference. This year’s event takes place at the Celtic Manor in Newport Wales and I sat down with my colleagues Stephanie Taylor and Ed Pinsent to find out what they are most looking forward to.

This will be your first IRMS conference. Are you excited? What are you looking forward to?

EP: It has been a long time since I’ve been to one of those big conferences. I have done Records Management in previous jobs, and it’s something I care about.

ST: I’m really looking forward to the conference and finding out what peoples’ pain points and issues are when it comes to digital preservation. There seems to be a growing need in the sector to handle, manage and preserve either digitised records as well as more and more born-digital records. We have seen an increasing number of records managers come to our Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP) courses and I’d like to get a better understanding if and how we can help. Continue reading

DPTP: Web Archiving 101 Course

Blog Image

Yesterday we ran our first ever one-day course in a specialist area of digital preservation – Web Archiving 101. We looked at all aspects of web archiving, and had a great group of people attending. Our Storify from the day gives a flavour of some of the topics we covered, and some of the wider discussions around them.

Thanks to Dr Peter Webster of Webster Research & Consultancy who shared his expert knowledge on all aspects of web archiving, including a really useful researcher/user perspective.  Thanks also to Sarah Day Thomson of the Digital Preservation Coalition who gave a really useful insight into the archiving of social media, based on the research work she is currently undertaking in this area. And of course a huge thanks to all the participants, both in the room and on Twitter, who came with lots of questions, case studies and contributions.

DPTP at the National Library of Ireland

Silence is requested!
Silence is requested! *

We will be running a version of our Digital Preservation Training Programme course ‘The Practice of Digital Preservation’,  in Dublin, at the National Library of Ireland (NLI) next week, 29th April – 1st May.  ANLTC – Academic & National Library Training Co-operative sought suggestions for courses from the CONUL Sub-Committees and our programme was recommended by the CONUL Sub Committee on Digital Services and Infrastructure.

We’ve been working with staff there to adapt our standard 3-day course to their specific requirements, a service we provide for many organisations in the UK and beyond. We’re delighted that our course was selected and excited to be taking DPTP to Ireland. It will also be Preservation Week, and being able to share knowledge about digital preservation in  Ireland seems like a very good way to celebrate the digital aspects of preservation during that time.

This isn’t the first time that DPTP has been on tour in Ireland, though. Back in 2012, Ed Pinsent and our then colleague Patricia Sleeman ran a version of the original DPTP course in Dublin, also hosted by NLI. We’re very glad to be invited back, and are really looking forward to another Dublin version of DPTP ‘on tour’!

* Image from the  National Library of Ireland on Flickr Commons

Podcast Number 2 – Web Archiving 101

Image from the Internet Archive in Flickr Commons
Image from the Internet Archive in Flickr Commons

As previously mentioned on the blog, we will be running a new DPTP 1-day course on 12/May, ‘Web Archiving 101′.  Peter Webster, of Webster Research and Consulting,  who will be teaching on the course, joined Ed, Steph and Frank to discuss web archiving, what it is, why it’s important, and how we hope to help people engage this type of digital preservation through our forthcoming course.

Our discussion explored some of the ‘big’ reasons for archiving the web on a grand scale, including projects such as the British Library’s Web Archive and also the importance of web archiving for smaller projects, down to individual researcher level. We talked about the preservation of social media, the legal aspects of archiving content from the web and the growing importance of content on the web in all aspects of life.

As more and more information of all kinds, from blogs used as online ‘notebooks’ for researchers to company and organisational records, research data and documents of historical importance,  becomes web-based, the decision to archive at least some of that content is growing more pressing for everyone. Our course aims to equip people with the tools and knowledge to manage web archiving at whatever scale is appropriate for their own work – a theme that was central to our podcast discussion.

We hope the podcast will be a useful introduction to the subject, and we still have a few places left on the course if web archiving is something you need to know more about.