As the doors opened on our sixth Lancaster based Data Conversations and the smell of pizza drifted out, new and old faces joined our conversation about real life research data stories. We were lucky enough to have four engaging speakers, all of whom explained their experience of using data in different fields, and explored the long term value of their data which led to the question: ‘Keep it, throw it… or lock it in the vault?’
Dr John Towse is a senior lecturer in the Psychology department. John’s work spans a number of research topics but includes: working memory, executive functions, mathematical cognition, cybercognition, human dimensions of cyber security and bibliometrics.
Today is my last day working as Digital Archivist at Lancaster University so I thought I would take a little time to reflect on my three years here; the highlights and what I have learnt in my time here.
We are members of the Digital Preservation Coalition which is a members organisation which exists to secure our digital legacy. Members include businesses, HE institutions, funding bodies, national heritage and cultural organisations and are drawn from every continent.
Last week all members were invited to the annual un-conference where we come together not only to share experiences and network but also to help set the Digital Preservation Coalition’s training and development agenda for the year ahead. The ideas is that members have the opportunity to raise the issues which really matter to them and then discuss how the DPC can take action to move forward on these issues.
Today is International Archives Day where everyone involved in preserving archives, records, data – whatever your take – celebrates the work that is happening worldwide to ensure the preservation of our memory and heritage and the protection of our rights by documenting decisions and building the foundations for good governance.
I was lucky enough to have two days in London last week to attend two separate but linked events: the first was a Jisc sponsored workshop on Digital Appraisal and the second an Archivematica UK User group meet up. It was a nice balance of activities, Day One was around the theory of how we decide what to keep or what to throw away and Day Two was about sharing experiences of using Archivematica – a digital preservation tool which can potentially help us with aspects of this.
International Digital Preservation Day 30th November 2017 #IDPD2017
What’s that about then?
Digital Archivists are a much misunderstood lot.
A lot of people think our work on digital preservation must be something to do with digitising old documents but this is absolutely not the case. Of course digitising old documents is fantastic and the wonderful resources which are now increasingly available on the internet like (and there are so many examples these are just some of my favourite ones) Charles Booth’s London or the Cambridge Digital Library . There are thousands and thousands useful for scholars, historians, students, teachers, genealogists, journalists – well just about anyone really who is interested in getting access to sources that would otherwise be near impossible to access. Digitising archive and library content has revolutionised the way we access and interact with archives, manuscripts and special collections.
We had our third Data Conversation here at Lancaster University again with the aim of bringing together researchers to share their data stories and discuss issues and exchange ideas in a friendly and informal setting.
It was fantastic to see PASIG 2017 (Preservation and Archives Special Interest Group) come to Oxford this year which meant I had the privilege of attending this prestigious international conference in the beautiful surroundings of Oxford’s Natural History Museum. All slides and presentations are available here.