Looking back at the formation of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, it’s fulfilling to see we’ve come a long way from where we started.
It’s been about year and a half since NDSA officially launched at the July 2010 partners meeting. Since then, fifty-five founding members participated in developing membership benefits and crafting mission and values statements at an organizing workshop. Five working groups have developed work plans based on their shared interests. Participants in these groups have been actively working on tasks. You can read about some of those activities here, here and here.
Today, the NDSA is a growing network of over 110 members. You can view a dynamic list of member institutions here. (In the left hand “Affiliation” box, just click on “NDSA” for the full list.)
The alliance is a true community of practitioners, experts and stakeholders across all sectors who value the preservation and enduring access to digital information. It is not just an alliance in name only.
This is why collaboration was identified as a key value of the alliance during the development of its organizing documents. Many members volunteered their time and knowledge during thoughtful engagements, discussing what values the community already shared and developing a core set of statements members could follow as the alliance expanded. As part of these efforts, members examined other volunteer and virtual organizations: how they were structured, what membership eligibility and benefits existed and what values those organizations embodied.
It was evident that there was no one existing model the alliance could follow as an emerging organization. But there was an inherent understanding that commitment to leveraging resources, sharing expert knowledge and building a solid community of participants needed to be at the core.
It’s an organization that can model itself after no other, but its members collaborate and ultimately lead by example for the digital preservation community.