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ZAK virtual reality labThe German town of Karlsruhe is no stranger to advanced technology, as home to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the ZKM Center for Art and Technology Karlsruhe. In his keynote for the November 2014 Digital Archiving conference at the ZAK Center for Digital Tradition (CODIGT), Still Water Co-Director Jon Ippolito presented advanced technologies as both the means for and object of novel preservation techniques. Emerging in Europe and the Americas, these new strategies harness everything from emulation to crowdsourcing to virtual reality.

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Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais and Still Water Research Fellow gkisedtanamoogk both spoke at Building Sustainable Communities: International, National and Local Perspectives, held at the University of Maine from 24-25 October 2014. Both veterans of the LongGreenHouse project, Blais and gkisedtanamoogk brought long-term yet pragmatic visions to this gathering of lawmakers, architects, engineers, and activists.

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Jon Ippolito in Mexico City, 2014Professionals across the spectrum of cultural heritage institutions are struggling to keep up with an increasingly digital landscape, as confirmed by the 30-odd contributions to Mexico’s first Symposium on Audiovisual and Digital Archiving (SIPAD). Today’s curators and conservators have their hands full coping with constantly changing video formats and Web standards, not to mention convincing legislators and administrators to support the enormous effort and time required to bring collections into the 21st century.

On the eve of Mexico’s famous Day of the Dead, a handful of presenters at this event organized by at the National Institute of Anthropology and History suggested that a solution for exhausted professionals may come from unexpected sources. In his concluding keynote for the week-long conference, Still Water co-director Jon Ippolito urged professionals to learn from the surprising successes of amateurs in rescuing artifacts that would otherwise have been lost to obsolescence.

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Preservation maverick Jason Scott joins the University of Maine’s Digital Curation students this week for a special conversation on emulation, crowdsourcing, and how his Archive Team has saved more of digital culture for posterity than most of the world’s museums put together.

A powerful spokesman for preservation, Scott will be the guest for a Digital Preservation class (DIG 550) that looks at both mainstream and radical strategies for rescuing new media from obsolescence and oblivion. The course is part of an all-online graduate certificate in Digital Curation targeted at librarians, conservators, archivists, and anyone else who has to manage digital files.

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13orono Digital Humanities vga 9One of the challenges of Maine’s first THATCamp (the 2013 Digital Humanities Week) was how to get 60 people to decide what they want to learn together. Fortunately, several of the participants offered creative solutions that may be of use to the organizers of any democratically determined conversation.

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Digital Humanities Banner 2013

Using a 3-D printer. Custom-styling a WordPress blog. Growing your own medicine. Conducting a social media campaign with YouTube and Twitter.

Is there a skill you wanted to learn but haven’t found the teacher or time to learn it? Create your own class in exactly what you want to learn at this year’s Digital Humanities Week at the University of Maine, which takes place Monday through Thursday 7-10 October. Sponsored by the New Media Department Correll Fund, Humanities Initiative, and CA/DLS, this year’s Digital Humanities Week will be Maine’s first THATCamp.

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13washington Library of Congress Teuben smaIs DOOM doomed? Should we say our last words for Word? Will Mozilla be a dinosaur?

These questions echoed through the Montpelier room of the Library of Congress earlier this week during Preserving.exe, a conference from 20-21 May on the challenges of keeping software alive for the long term. The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) invited Still Water’s John Bell and Jon Ippolito to represent the University of Maine’s Digital Curation program in this gathering, which also included conservators, scholars, librarians, astrophysicists, and industry reps from Microsoft to Mozilla.

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13washington Digital Curation sum 1 illWhether they manage bits for their local historical society or the Library of Congress, the digital era has placed added demands on today’s curators. The growing need for training in these new skills is one of the motivations for the University of Maine’s just-launched Digital Curation graduate program, but U-Me is not alone in recognizing this need.

On January 8th a Digital Curation summit in Washington, DC, brought together educators from U-Me together with the first wave of digital curation programs to meet with professional curators, librarians, and archivists from nationwide institutions with the aim of defining the knowledge and skills needed by today’s information caretakers.

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CivPreserving Virtual Worlds, an IMLS-funded initiative organized by the universities of Illinois, Stanford, and Maryland, was founded with an ambitious goal: to explore innovative methods for preserving the rich legacy of video games. Its case studies have ranged from vintage games like DOOM and Harpoon to more contemporary Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games such as World of Warcraft. The initiative even attempted to recommend options for documenting complex multiplayer environments such as Second Life.

The consortium’s organizers, led by Jerome McDonough of Illinois, invited Still Water Senior Researcher John Bell and co-director Jon Ippolito to their December advisory board meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss ways that Preserving Virtual Worlds could take advantage of Still Water’s preservation and access tools such as the Variable Media Questionnaire and the Metaserver.

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Avicom LogoThe keynote for this year’s International Audiovisual Festival on Museums and Heritage focuses on very new–and very old–technologies for crowdsourcing the curation and preservation of culture. Delivered by Still Water Co-Director Jon Ippolito, the presentation “Re-collection” draws on themes from the forthcoming book of the same name.

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