Setting Out on the Digital Preservation Path as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow

This is a guest post by Madeline Sheldon, a 2013 Junior Fellow working with NDIIPP.

I am currently working towards a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information, with a specialization in Library and Information Science. In the past, I held library positions, which included working in reference services, managing the collections of two Federal Depository Libraries and conducting archival research, all of which gave me valuable customer service skills and project management experience.

Madeline Shelton, 2013 NDIIPP Junior Fellow

Madeline Sheldon, 2013 NDIIPP Junior Fellow

My interest in digital preservation began after completing an internship with a university-sponsored digital initiatives program, where I learned to digitize analog material. At that time, I had little experience or knowledge of proper digitization or preservation practices, but my enthusiasm for my assignment led my supervisor to take me under their wing. I am so grateful to this influential mentor, because their passion for their own work sparked my interest in the emerging field and led me down my current path of study.

To better understand digital preservation, I took courses which I thought would strengthen my understanding and expertise with the preservation of digital images, management of electronic records and web archiving. While taking these courses, I further deepened my passion for the preservation of digital information, and simultaneously became a strong advocate for the careful planning and preparation of preservation policies and contingency plans produced by digital repositories.

I used the knowledge and resources gained from my courses to use in various work and school-related projects. In one instance, I worked with a group of colleges to evaluate and analyze the records management practices of an office that dealt primarily with the creation and storage of electronic records. Because of my research and training, I felt confident that I could offer beneficial recommendations, which would not only assist with the organization’s future preservation efforts, but also add trustworthiness and legitimacy to their record keeping practices.

This summer, while working as an intern for NDIIPP, I will build upon previous Junior Fellow efforts, continuing with an ongoing digital stewardship research project. One of my main assignments will focus on finding new or recently revised preservation policies, strategies, and/or plans from cultural heritage institutions. Once gathered, I will analyze their content and generate a report of my findings for the library.

I will also contribute to this blog, which will provide updates about my progress and highlight noteworthy articles that I find as I conduct my research. I am honored to have been selected by NDIIPP and look forward to collaborating with their staff to provide useful tools and insights that will accelerate the advancements of digital stewardship for future generations.

2 Comments

  1. Nancy Story
    May 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Congratulations, Madeleine. Glad to see that your time at OU provided you with some valuable work experience and foundation as you continue your career in libraries. Sounds like you have found a focus for your studies.

  2. Paul Maesschalck
    August 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Hi Madeline,

    I’m almost a librarian.

    My big challenge will be to make a comparison of the different ways of digitisation of music manuscript of music of 19-20th century.
    Both with advantages and disadvantages.

    Also with the connection with metadata and the valorisation of such digital collection.
    If you could help me with useful information this would be much appreciated.
    If I could help you, just ask.

    Paul Maesschalck

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