Practical Digital Preservation on a Shoestring: Triage for the Underfunded

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This course will help you develop a pragmatic approach to digital preservation, including how to implement a practical workflow for triaging digital materials in your care. We will cover concepts like how different digital preservation tools/services can perform different functions within the digital curation lifecycle, methods for investigating and selecting potential tools/services based on your available resources, and how to make incremental progress towards achieving reasonable preservation goals. The focus will be on low-cost and free tools and services and the instructor will demonstrate these tools in action through a full life-cycle workflow. The focus of this course is on preservation, and not on access or digitization of materials. We will not be addressing the “why” of digital preservation; rather, we are preparing for the “how” of making informed decisions regarding workflows and tool selection. An introductory knowledge of digital preservation issues, such as those outlined in the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Handbook, is required.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

  • You will understand that different digital preservation tools/services can perform different functions within the digital curation lifecycle, and be able to investigate and select potential tools and services, with an emphasis on low-cost and free ones
  • You will learn pragmatic approaches to triage* your data for ingest with simple, free, and readily available tools
  • You will learn how to upgrade metadata and recordkeeping practices in readiness for the next steps
  • You will learn how to find communities of practice so that you won't feel like you're on your own

Example Digital Preservation Conundrums
Our local Museum and Historical Society is now receiving digital photographs of community events and milestones. Help!
Our Archives are receiving electronic minutes and records. Help!
I just started a new job as a Curator; what do I do with these CDs, flash drives, and floppy disks in the collection? What's on those anyways?


Jaime Schumacher is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at Northern Illinois University Libraries. Jaime served as Director for the Digital POWRR Project funded by a grant from the IMLS, and is now the co-leader of POWRR, currently funded by the NEH. She earned her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and holds a B.S. in Computer Technology from Purdue University. Previously, Jaime was an Information Systems Consultant for Deloitte Consulting in Chicago, IL.

This course is designed for smaller, under-resourced organizations who understand the need for digital preservation but are not sure how to begin creating daily workflows that incorporate accessioning, processing, and storage of digital materials (born-born-digital and previously digitized).
Frequency: offered 2 times a year, Spring & Fall

Registrations for this class must be received at least one week before the class date. Registrants should receive an email offering detailed login and setup instructions. Please call 800.999.8558 if you do not receive this email at least three days before the class. This class is designed for individual participation; each individual must register.

Time: All live online classes are in Eastern time.

Please see Technical Requirements for online classes and events.

You may register using one of two methods:

    Register Online
    Click on "Register" above.
    PDF Form
    Print out the registration form and fax it to LYRASIS at 404.892.7879.