Digital preservation is important for everyone, not just researchers, librarians and archivists. Have you ever accidentally deleted a photo, found a corrupted video, or been unable to access some of your work from a few years back because it’s an older file format? 

World Digital Preservation Day is a great way for folks to learn about the small things we can all do to preserve our digital objects – for good.

Organised by the Digital Preservation Coalition and held on 5 November, this year’s theme ‘Digits: for Good’ celebrates the positive impact digital preservation has, for good – or at least for as long as required.

The day has special meaning for us at Monash. Only a few months ago we joined the Digital Preservation Coalition – an international member organisation that supports organisations to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services.

We are focused on preserving the University’s combined digital outputs so that future generations can have access to them. Our membership in the DPC was the result of a new collaboration between the Library and the University Archives, who both recognised the growing volume of born digital and digitised content across the University. 

While we have begun this journey focusing on the Library and Archives collections we are keen to branch out and ensure that every aspect of the University is represented in one university-wide digital preservation strategy. This will eventually include research and data outputs, permanent University records, the Library’s digital and special collections, and cultural collections from our galleries and museums.

What is digital preservation?

Technology moves rapidly, new versions of software and hardware are regularly released with no guarantees that it will be compatible with older systems and files. File formats, software packages and storage media can all become obsolete quickly and this is one of the key issues addressed by digital preservation. Digital Preservation is the series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for as long as necessary. ¹

Join the celebrations

As part of World Digital Preservation Day we want to highlight the digital formats that are in danger of fast becoming obsolete.

Get baking

Want to make a chocolate brownie hard drive? Or maybe some CD ROM cookies? Come get involved in the #BitListBakeOff!

  1. Look up the Digital Preservations Coalition’s list of Digitally Endangered Species and choose an at-risk digital material you think might make the best use of your baking skills, and help raise awareness of at risk digital materials.
  2. Upload an image of your baked goods to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; use the hashtag #BitListBakeOff and #WDPD2020; and tag @Monashunilib and @MonashArchive so we can see your creation!

Show us your oldies!

Have you got some old VHS cassettes lying around the house? Maybe a floppy disk or two? Betacam videocassette? Laserdisc? Take a photo of the oldest technology relic you have in your house that could do with being digitally preserved, we would love to see them!

Upload your image to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; use the hashtag #RetroByte and #WDPD2020; and tag @Monashunilib and @MonashArchive so we can see your creation!

Discover the diplomas and certificates of Sir John Monash

To celebrate the exciting new collaboration between the Library and Archives, we have worked together to create an interactive, digital book of some of the diplomas and certificates of Sir John Monash – as held by Archives, and digitised by the Library. Explore the book.

Connect with us

Monash University Archives holds records of permanent value from across the University’s Australian campuses, including historical records relating to the formation of the university and some of Sir John Monash’s records – diplomas, certificates and family photographs, that were donated by his family. https://www.monash.edu/records-archives/archives

Monash University Library has a dedicated Digitisation Centre specialising in the capture of the Library’s Special Collections – unique collections of historical significance and research value. Discover our digitised collections: https://repository.monash.edu/

 

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¹ https://www.dpconline.org/docs/knowledge-base/1862-dp-note-1-what-is-digital-preservation/file

 

Authors:  Beth Pearson is a Research Infrastructure Librarian at the Library and Ali Hayes-Brady is the Digital Archivist at the University Archives.