At the CARLI forum today, I gave a talk titled (somewhat tongue in cheek), “Lessons from a (former?) digital preservation neophyte.” The Powerpoint slides can be found here in pdf format.
I used the talk to reflect on my personal growth as an archivist, via my engagement with digital preservation literature and tools (as well as the Scottish highlands), arguing that we should all approach electronic records issues as a “newly planted” (original etymology) neophyte. The key for me is in the act of ‘doing’ or practicing digital preservation, not reading about it from the sacred texts (whatever those may be). It gave me a chance to use one of my favorite quotes from Erich Fromm: “Thought can lead us only to the knowledge but it cannot give us the ultimate answer. . . The only way in which the world can ultimately be grasped lies not in thought, but in the act.” (The Art of Loving, 78-79.)
Toward the end, I made the case for several tools that I see as critical to my future growth as a practitioner:
- ArchivesSpace (as replacement for Archivists Toolkit and Archon)
I love all of these projects because 1) they either make use or are in the process of becoming de facto standards; 2) they use collaborative development models, with strong governance and agile development processes; and 3) they can be widely and easily adopted since they have a ‘low implementation bar’. I hope to use all of these as I push forward with my iKive idea, for which I now has seed funding.