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The National Digital Stewardship Residency, Four Months In

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The following is a guest post from Emily Reynolds, Resident with the World Bank Group Archives

NDSR Christmas tree ornament.  Photo: Jaime McCurry,
NDSR Christmas tree ornament. Photo: Jaime McCurry,

For the next several months, the National Digital Stewardship Residents will be interrupting your regularly-scheduled Signal programming to bring you updates on our projects and the program in general. We’ll be posting on alternate weeks through the end of the residency in May, and we can’t wait to share all of the exciting work we’ve been doing. I’ll start off the series with a quick overview of how it’s been going so far, and what you can expect to hear about in future posts.

After participating in immersion workshops for the first two weeks of September, we’ve been working at our host organizations to tackle their toughest digital stewardship challenges. Our work has been interspersed with group meetings and outings to professional development events; most recently, we heard from NYU’s Howard Besser at an enrichment session for the residents and our mentors. His talk centered around the challenges of preserving user-generated digital content, such as correspondence, email, and the disorderly contents of personal hard drives. The National Security Archive also hosted us for a tour and discussion of their work, where we were able to learn about some of the most prized (and controversial) items in their collection.

CIA behavior control experiments at the National Security Archive. Photo: Emily Reynolds.
CIA behavior control experiments at the National Security Archive. Photo: Emily Reynolds.

A major component of the residency is encouraging and facilitating our attendance at, and participation in, professional conferences. We’ll be presenting twice at ALA Midwinter: a series of lightning talks at the ALCTS Digital Preservation Interest Group meeting, as well as slightly longer presentations at the Library of Congress’s booth. Stay tuned for more information about other conferences that we’ll be participating in, as well as our reports after the fact.

As part of the residency, we’ve been asked to provide updates on our projects on our individual blogs and Twitter accounts. You can follow our Twitter activity on this list, and find links to all of our blogs here . We’ll be coordinating some special features on our personal blogs over the coming months, including interviews with digital preservation practitioners, discussions with each other, and up-close explorations of our institutions and projects; those features will be linked to from our upcoming Signal posts. For now, I’ll leave you with a roundup of some of the NDSR news you might have missed over the past few months:

Project updates:

  • Heidi’s answer to the question “so what exactly is Dumbarton Oaks, anyway?”
  • Julia’s discussion of the work being done at the National Security Archive
  • Lauren’s collection of resources related to media preservation
  • Jaime’s theory that William Shakespeare would have been a web archivist

Conferences and events:

  • Erica’s report from the AMIA conference
  • Jaime’s recap of the Archive-It partners’ meeting
  • Maureen’s discussion of her experience at the Tri-State Archivists’ Annual Meeting
  • Molly’s summary of an Accessible Future workshop and posts about the DLF Forum

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