Skip to content


Scholarships, repositories and digital preservation training

DPTP logo largeThe Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP) is hosting another course in London next week. This is becoming a well established feature of the digital preservation landscape in the UK and further afield. It’s not cheap, but good quality training is not. One innovation to have resulted from this cost is the funding, by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), of a number of scholarships for its members to attend the course. Three scholarships were offered, and six were awarded, showing the growing popularity of the course.

The process of awarding these scholarships has shone some light on the target community for this course, and has implications for repository managers. One of the repository managers involved in the KeepIt project submitted a personal application for a scholarship but was not selected. In retrospect this may seem unsurprising given the criteria outlined in the DPC’s announcement of the awards:

“Applicants were judged against three main criteria: the role that DPTP would play in career development; the benefits to their organisation from attendance and the extent to which the applicant’s job profile within the organisation pertains to digital preservation. Applications were open to DPC members and associates.”

This does not describe the current organisational view of the repository or of the repository manager. There simply is not yet this focus on preservation by repositories, nor on preservation as a career development path for repository managers. What seems to define the lone repository manager is they have to be jack of all trades, with too little time for any of them, preservation included.

It’s notable that none of the selected scholars appears to be managing a repository. That could simply be a reflection of DPC membership, another requirement for application.

So it falls to KeepIt to try and bring preservation training to the repository. I shall be attending part of the DPTP course next week as an observer, to get a clearer picture of the course coverage and presentation. I am grateful to Kevin Ashley, the course leader, for this chance.

The first thing that struck me about the programme is that it begins with OAIS and ends with organisational issues. In our training plan for KeepIt it is almost the reverse. The priority for a repository is to embed itself within the institution and to respond to its needs. Preservation follows from this analysis rather than precedes it. Again, I think this highlights the different target audiences, with DPTP aiming at organisations with preservation already established as a core mission. I’ve had some brief correspondence with Kevin about this and we hope to talk some more next week about how we can work with DPTP to bring its training to repository managers. I’ll report back on my impressions of the course and any developments that might follow.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Tagged with , .

3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Kevin Ashley says

    Steve, thanks for your observations (and I’m looking forward to hearing more.)

    I think our perspective isn’t as different from Keepit’s as you might think. OAIS is one of a number of models that we promote, but we do so as a way of getting people to think about why they are doing things, who for and who with. It is easy for anyone, repository managers and others, to lose sight of why they are running a repository and think too much about how they are doing it. OAIS and other models can be used to help people focus on both, and also to decompose apparently difficult problems into smaller, more tractable ones. That’s our intention, at least.

    We end with organisational perspectives because we hope that attendees end up with a will to change something in their institution. Past feedback indicated that they needed some help understanding how to make that happen. That part of the course is more about generic change management than preservation, to be honest, but it seems to be popular.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Preservation, DP 2.0 and the happy shopper – Diary of a Repository Preservation Project linked to this post on October 26, 2009

    […] these lessons are reversed when it comes to digital preservation. Last week I attended part of the Digital Preservation Training Programme. People were being specially trained. The content was extensive, comprehensive and, often, […]

  2. Digital preservation training for repository managers – Diary of a Repository Preservation Project linked to this post on December 18, 2009

    […] preservation is currently well served with training courses that are strong on the foundations of the topic, and are aimed at a general audience. This KeepIt […]

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.