NDSA: Fostering a Community of Practice for Digital Stewardship

By Katherine Kim posted

Editor's note: This post continues our series on CLIR Affiliates, which Chuck Henry initiated in his June 22 blog. Previous weeks' posts have focused on IIIF and the Digital Library of the Middle East.

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance, hosted by the Digital Library Federation, is a consortium of more than 220 partnering organizations, including universities, professional associations, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations, all committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. NDSA was established in 2010 by the Library of Congress and DLF became its institutional home in January 2016.

The collaboration between NDSA and DLF has meaningfully enriched both organizations over the last two years. Working together to support the common goals of preservation, openness, and digital stewardship, NDSA and DLF exemplify the importance of mission-driven and collaborative work to sustain vibrant communities of practice. As DLF provides membership and conference management support, expertise, communications infrastructure, and resources, NDSA continues to leverage its leadership in the digital stewardship community. There are no fees or dues for membership; NDSA is financially supported by the DLF. The value of the consortium depends on members contributing their efforts to interest and working groups and sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Since migrating to DLF, NDSA has welcomed more than 20 new members, including 11 this year: Boston College Libraries, Code Ocean, Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL), Drexel University Libraries, Grand Valley State University Libraries, the Senator John Heinz History Center, Komodo Cloud, Media Burn Archive, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, University of Arizona Libraries, and Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation. COPPUL marks the consortium’s first member outside the United States.

The annual conference, Digital Preservation 2017: “Preservation is Political,” will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 25-26, 2017; the conference program is available here. Eira Tansey will open Digital Preservation 2017 with a talk exploring the relationship between environmental policy and the preservation of records, and what implications this has for the future of climate justice. It will be the second year that the conference has followed the DLF Forum, with these two events broadening the information stewardship community to bring together more than 700 practitioners.

This year, the NDSA Web Archiving working group launched Web Archiving in the United States: A 2016 Survey, which serves as the third report of its kind. Major takeaways from surveying the landscape of Web archiving activities in the United States can be found here. NDSA also published Trends in Digital Preservation Capacity and Practice in advance of the NDSA Fixity Working Group’s dissemination of the Survey on Fixity Practices. The aim of the new survey is “to identify gaps between fixity best practices and real-world implementation, as well as to identify possible reasons that institutions do not meet specific best practices.” The survey will be available until September 15, 2017, and the Fixity Working Group welcomes your input! Please respond to the survey here.

For questions about the NDSA, how to join, its relation to DLF, or how to support either organization, please write to ndsa@diglib.org.