UVA librarians collaborate on international award-winning digital preservation project

Screen capture of Zoom call showing winner's medal with word "Winner." In the upper right UVA librarian Bradley Daigle can be seen onscreen.Bradley Daigle and Lauren Work of the UVA Library are key members of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) group, which has won the Digital Preservation Coalition’s (DPC) International Council on Archives Award for Collaboration and Cooperation. The award, given at the DPC’s Digital Preservation Awards 2020 ceremony, was announced on Thursday, November 5, to coincide with World Digital Preservation Day.

Daigle, UVA’s Digital Initiatives Librarian and Strategic and Content Expert for APTrust, accepted the award on behalf of NDSA as Chair of the NDSA Leadership as well as Chair of the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation Working Group, to whom to the award was granted. Work, Digital Preservation Librarian in the Library’s Preservation Services Unit, has an integral role in the project as a member of both the Curatorial Subgroup and the newly formed Steering Group for the Levels, whose role it is to provide an ongoing, up-to-date version.

The NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation Working Group was recognized for their work on the Levels of Digital Preservation Revision project, which represents an update to the Levels of Digital Preservation that codifies current technological practices for long-term preservation of digital resources in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. The guidelines are presented in an easily digestible format designed for experts as well as newcomers to the field. As Daigle notes, “The Levels are an extremely easy method for an organization to measure their progress in digital preservation good practice. It points out the key activities that need to occur for an organization to implement their own digital preservation in a progressive manner and map that current landscape of what they can do now to what they want to accomplish.”

The Levels working group comprises more than 200 contributors in 6 separate groups that span several continents. Daigle initiated the revision process in October 2018 and has managed and guided the ongoing effort since that time. The first set of products were released in 2019, and new additions and additional research components are being released at the annual Digital Preservation Conference to be held on November 12, 2020. Full background of the overall effort can be found on the NDSA website.

The Digital Preservation Coalition Awards are given every other year, and reflect the international digital preservation community’s judgement on who and what should receive acclaim and recognition. The International Council on Archives Award for Collaboration and Cooperation is a highly competitive award, with an international panel of experts judging the finalists. The award includes a cash prize of £1000, which will be donated to the non-profit Council on Library and Information Resources to subsidize travel stipends to attend the NDSA’s annual conference. The full award presentation was recorded and can be viewed on the award site.

For in-depth contextual information of the work on the NDSA Levels of Preservation, read more on the Digital Preservation Coalition blog in this post by Daigle: NDSA Levels of Preservation: Keys to Leveraging Collaboration.

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