preservation

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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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hastac_logoStill Water Senior Researcher John Bell has been named a 2013 HASTAC scholar, and he’s spending his time finding new ways to knit together data and the organizations that produce them.
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Tate tim Four SeasonsGraduate students in the University of Maine’s Digital Curation program do more than read archival theory and study metadata standards. As their final project for DIG 550 (Digital Preservation), several students chose real-life artworks to preserve using the techniques learned in class.

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Dig 500 Wordle WarmAfter only a year online, the University of Maine’s graduate certificate in Digital Curation is being called “a national standard for the study of digital curation.”

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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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Dig 540 WordleIt’s hard to find a collecting institution that doesn’t have a Web site these days, and you’re going to need to know MySQL and PHP to run most of them. But training as an archivist or librarian doesn’t teach you how to customize a Web site. What’s a digital curator to do?

Answer: take the brand-new “Digital Collections and Exhibitions” course debuting online this September.

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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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Re Collection LogoRe-Collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory will be the first full-length academic book on preserving digital media. Due out this coming year from MIT Press, the publication is a collaboration between Still Water’s Jon Ippolito and Richard Rinehart, director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell.

Re-collection argues that the default strategies for safeguarding media in the 20th century are utterly inadequate for preserving culture in the 21st. While the quantity of cultural artifacts has been increasing dramatically, the average lifespan of each artifact is shrinking due to technological obsolescence and cultural amnesia.

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Digital Curation LogoThe University of Maine has announced that its Digital Curation graduate program is dramatically reducing its out-of-state tuition rates, beginning this coming spring.

The move was inspired by the successful launch of the program’s first course last September, DIG 500, and the widespread interest expressed by students from Uruquay to Burundi to Mumbai.

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