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New DPTP Programme – launching our first new course


We’re delighted to be opening bookings for the first course in our new DPTP programme. The course is a one-day course, ‘DPTP: Digitisation – from project management to access‘, and it will be held here in Senate House, London, on 27th September 2016.

The course will cover the basics of digitisation, from the initial planning through project management to protecting and preserving the resulting digital assets for the long term. It explores preparation, project management, equipment/outsourcing, workflows and policies. It will also look at metadata, copyright and licensing, and managing access to the digitised content.

The course grew out of a very successful course that we ran as an on-site course for the University of Salford. The original course was very well-received, and information from our training needs survey  showed that digitisation is still a very hot topic for people in our community today, so we worked on revising  the content to bring it up-to-date for 2016.

However, we decided to leave unchanged the successful one-day format. From our survey, we knew that one day is the most popular length for face-to-face courses for almost everyone who responded,  as they offer a realistic amount of time away from the office, archive and library for busy delegates. The one-day format is the standard in our new programme, to support the preferences expressed by the digital preservation community for a range of diverse, specialist,  shorter courses.

We hope you find the course useful, and do look out for the launch of more courses in our new programme very soon.

For details of the full programme for the day and to book a place, see our booking page.

DPC Student event

Digital Preservation for students with DPC

Digital preservation is now an important part of most archives and library/information work, and it’s importance is only set to grow. Getting students studying in these areas to engage with the idea and the practicalities of digital preservation is very important for everyone working in the field. The DPC run an annual Student Conference, ‘What I wish I knew before I started’ . This year it took place here in Senate House on 22/January. The conference offers a useful glimpse into the world of digital preservation, and hopefully enthuses new professionals about this area of work. I was invited to give a library and information manager view of working in digital preservation, and was delighted to be a part of such an inspiring event.

Digital Preservation – An Information Manager’s Perspective

My own talk gave five basic tips:

  1. Everything you learn and think you know will change over time – be prepared!
  2. Learn to keep up-to-date, it’s a very important part of your skills set.
  3. Learn some basic technical skills and play around, and share what you are doing.
  4. Resign yourself to explaining why storage is not digital preservation. All. The. Time.
  5. Join the digital preservation community – it’s the best support you could get.

You can see the complete slides plus notes below.

I took the opportunity to promote our free online beginner course in OAIS, something I hope that the delegates will find useful as they progress in their knowledge of digital preservation.


The main theme from all the speakers focused on the value of the digital preservation community.  For those of us working in this field, our peers are our support network. It’s the community that offers us help and guidance, where we learn and share the discoveries we have made, where we get support. Although from the outside, our work is often perceived as being all about the technical, it’s impossible to work in this field an imagine not having our fantastic network there alongside us. I felt proud to work in an area that sees community as it’s greatest strength and to show new potential members how welcome they would be to join us.

Blog 5

Thanks to Edith Halvarsson of British Library for capturing the panel so well!

Other talks included a great overview of technologies and some tips for getting started from Matthew Addis of Arkivum, a fascinating look at the wider aspects of working with digital preservation from both Sharon McMeekin of DPC and Adrian Brown of Parliamentary Archives, a glimpse behind the scenes of the British Museum digital collections from Glenn Cumiskey and a grand tour of web archiving from Helen Hockx-Yu of the Internet Archive.

It was also fantastic to listen to Ann MacDonald of University of Kent archives, who is herself a new professional, speak about her experiences both as a student and as a professional archivist working with digital preservation. Ann also came on our DPTP course in 2014, so it was very special to hear about her work now. It was a proud moment when she recommended our courses! The final speaker, Dave Thompson of the Wellcome Trust, was speaking from the experience of a (much!) longer career. His enthusiasm and interest in his work though, made him just as inspiring as Ann, which is a great endorsement for working in our field.

Slides from all the speakers will be available via DPC shortly, and you can see what people were saying on the day in my Storify of the event.

We finished the day with a panel session which was thought-provoking and great fun – a pretty good summary of the whole day, in fact.

Free OAIS Beginners Course – Update

OAIS_3Back at the beginning of November, we launched our first online course, ‘A Beginners Guide to the OAIS Reference Model’. It was free, and available to anyone who wanted to find out more about this subject. A month after going  live, we’ve had a lot of interest.

Over 70 people have taken the course in 12 different coutries. As well as the UK, we’ve had students  from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Spain, Latvia, Croatia, Chile, Russia, USA and the Netherlands. . The Netherlands seem to be very keen on learning about OAIS, being the country with the most people signing up,  except the UK.  It’s been fantastic to see so much international engagement. We’ve also had a great cross-section of students in many roles from many kinds of organisations, including national memory institutions, higher education, cultural heritage, national and local government departments and the commercial sector.

We’ve had so much enthusiasm  that we have decided not to close the course at the end of November. Instead, we’ll continue to have it open and free. If you’d like to do the course, just click here and sign up!




Free OAIS online course – A Beginner’s Guide to the OAIS Reference Model

Reference model for free OAIS online course

We’re starting to move the Digital Preservation Training Programme into the realms of the online. As a first step, we’re releasing a free OAIS online course aimed to help with the understanding of the OAIS Reference Model.

The content for this short course comes out of what we currently teach on the Beginner version of the DPTP face-to-face Course. Our plan is to move away from teaching OAIS in the classroom, and move towards students learning it online before they attend the teaching.

Read more

Survey – What are your digital preservation training needs?

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.

Read more

IRMS Conference 2015 – ‘Information: The New Currency’

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…

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.

DPTP: Web Archiving 101- A New Course



The Sphinx, does, of course, know the answers to all riddles, including, we assume, how to archive the web… Image from the British Library Flickr stream, no known copyright.

We are pleased to announce a new course in the Digital Preservation Training Programme – ‘Web Archiving 101’. This course is a 1-day course and will take place at Senate House on 12th May 2015. The day will be a mix of tutor-led learning, discussion and group exercises. We won’t be offering ‘hands-on’ in the sense of using tools, but the focus is very much on the practical. If you create and/or use  web-based information and resources for research and you have an interest ensuring that such web content can persist and endure in an accessible and usable preservation environment, then this event will be of interest to you.

This course grew out of our re-working of our core DPTP course last year. At that time, we decided to create two new courses, an introduction course and an intermediate course, and in doing so, we reviewed all our existing content very thoroughly. We used to run a web archiving module on the original DPTP course, but times, we felt had moved on. Web archiving had grown significantly in since the original course was designed, and we no longer had the time within a broader course to do it justice. What to do? After much heart searching, we took the module out of the 2 and 3 day courses. However, we still felt there was a strong interest in the area, and so the idea of a ‘101’ course, just focusing on web archiving, was born.

We have been very lucky to work with Peter Webster, a long-established expert in this field, in the design of this new one-day course. Peter will also be teaching on the course, along with Steph Taylor and Ed Pinsent, the regular DPTP tutors, and Sara Day Thomson, a project officer with the  DPC, who will be sharing her knowledge about and research into the issues of archiving social media.

There is more information about the course on our website, and you can now book in the ULC shop.