Aimed at exploring the main issues affecting the preservation of digital documentary heritage, in order to develop strategies that will contribute to the protection of digital assets, this conference brings together a heterogeneous group of stakeholders from developed and developing countries, policy makers and practitioners, legal experts and advocates for access to information, together to discuss the common issue of digital preservation.
Ken Thibodeau of the National Institute for Standards and Technology was the opening keynote speaker and presented a framework for the discourse surrounding digital preservation. Serving as both a introduction to the fundamental issues related to digital preservation and highlighting that stakeholders in digital preservation have different priorities when it comes to the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of digital preservation, Thibodeau led me to reconsider motivations for preservation, such as accessibility, use and resuse, that as a librarian, I had taken as a given for investment in digital preservation.
Seamus Ross, Dean of the University of Toronto, dealt with the issue of sustainability and the economics of digital preservation. Using the somewhat controversial example of the commercial ww.ancestry.ca subscription service, Ross illustrated the innovative potential of the exploitation of digital archives.
A major challenge for digital preservation activist is dealing with the legal issues surrounding the preservation of digital objects and the storage of digital objects in the cloud. Luciana Duranti gave a comprehensive overview of the legislative issues and called for an international legal framework to help address these issues.
Clearly passionate about the necessity of digital preservation for a democratic and informed society, Anne Thurston of the International Records Management Trust, gave an impassioned overview of the challenges and benefits of managing digital information.
Having brought together key thinkers, activists, and policy makers in the area of digitisation and digital preservation, this event has the potential to create real dialogue surrounding an issues which has the potential to hugely benefit a democratic society.