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Announcing the DPTP Digitisation Course


We’re pleased to announce the DPTP Course on Digitisation, which will take place in London on 27th September 2016. It is a one day course, taught through a combination of slides, exercises and discussions, and costs £312.30.

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.


I first taught this Course in Salford in June 2013. It was at the Working Class Movement Library and organised by Elinor Taylor, who wanted a block of learning as part of her two day digital humanities training event for humanities postgraduate researchers. We were keen to help with this project, for several reasons:

  • Postgraduate researchers represent a strand of learners different to the archivists and librarians who usually attend the DPTP
  • Digital Humanities was then, and still is, a growth area that we need to engage with
  • It was an opportunity to create learning materials on a subject which previously had been taught as a single 90-minute module on the DPTP. As we discovered with web-archiving, the subject is too rich for a single module, and requires a day to be understood properly.

Elinor had some very specific expectations from this offering, which we tried our best to meet as we like to keep our customers happy. She had the intention that “those who attend will acquire skills to design their own project and start work”. Her learners wanted to know about:

  • How to get from print resources to digitized resources
  • What are the basic principles of designing a digitisation project
  • Discussion of compliance and copyright issues
  • Integration with existing catalogues
  • Integration with existing digitization strategies
  • Criteria for selection of file formats

In this Library’s case, the students did have digitisation projects planned, but I learned they would be outsourcing the actual scanning to a professional company. This affirms my view, that I still subscribe to, that scanning is only a small part of digitisation.

In offering this Course as part of the 2016 DPTP programme, Steph Taylor and myself have updated the content and included more information to address certain key specialisms and concerns in this field. For instance, we have incorporated what we learned in the last 12 months about DAM systems, metadata, and image libraries, through our liaison with Sarah Saunders of the IPTC Metadata Group. We have also upgraded our workflow model to include strands on OCR, manuscript digitization, and crowd-sourcing. Watch this space for a forthcoming podcast where we discuss these improvements and additions.


In the podcast below, hear Steph Taylor and Ed Pinsent discuss the new Digitisation Course.

dptp online

DPTP Online – new teaching course launched

What is DPTP Online?

DPTP Online is a new online course that offers paying customers an introduction to digital preservation. It aims to teach students about strategies they can use to make digital preservation possible.

This new offering from ULCC is an online learning version of the award-winning face-to-face Course which we have been teaching since 2005. In terms of the content it offers, it’s pretty much the basic two-Day Course which we have been calling “An Introduction to Digital Preservation”.

However, we took the opportunity to reinstate content and case studies from modules which we’ve always had in reserve, but had retired from the Course in order to keep it under two days. We’ve also added quizzes, case studies, videos, exercises, and forums. The entire contents of the Reading List, which used to be a 16-page PDF, has been added as live links and attachments, under “Further Reading”. All of this means DPTP Online is quite a rich experience.

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2015 Digital Preservation Training Needs Survey: What we learned so far…


Title: First book on anatomy, physiology, and hygiene : for grammar schools and families. Source: Internet Archive Book Image photostream. No known Copyright restrictions.

In Autumn 2015 ULCC worked with colleagues from the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) to conduct the Digital Archiving & Preservation Training Needs Survey (#DAPTNS15).

We were delighted to receive 216 responses to our survey. We’ve been looking at the results in the hopes they’ll tell us something about training needs in the field of digital preservation.

Digital Preservation Training Needs – Distribution of respondents

About half of the respondents came from an HE & FE sector, closely followed by people working in Cultural Heritage or Government Sectors. A very small percentage described themselves as coming from a Financial Sector.

The majority of respondents come from an Archival or Library professional background, with about 25% working in Research or Records Management; the Museum sector was sadly under-represented.

Over half of the respondents were based in the UK, with less than 25% from the US and Canada, and only 25 respondents from mainland Europe. It was also encouraging to receive a few scattered replies from as far afield as South America, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, and India.

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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.

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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.

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

What’s new at the DPTP?

Photograph by Krista Hennebury

Photograph by Krista Hennebury

Our award-winning Digital Preservation Training Programme now offers a Beginner Course and a Practitioner Course. If you’re not sure which Course is right for you, see the tables below. These new courses have been designed to meet the needs of the community, so anyone working in archives, libraries, museums, or information management will benefit. Whether a records manager or a digital librarian, working in a commercial business or a County Archives, you will be welcome on the DPTP.

We’ve made this change to bring our work more closely in line with the emerging Curriculum Framework for Digital Curation which is being designed by the good people at DigCurV.

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