While 2016 will probably be best remembered for celebrity passings and political goings-on, in the archives and records management community we will look back and give a big thumbs up to all who made history as part of the Digital Preservation Awards at the Wellcome Trust, London in November.
Hosted by us, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), and introduced by our Chair of Judges, Adrian Brown of the Parliamentary Archives, the eagerly anticipated ceremony was a fantastic celebration of those people and organisations who have made significant and innovative contributions to maintaining our digital legacy. Both personally and professionally, it was certainly one of my 2016 highlights.
In a year which saw the greatest number and quality of nominations received to date, finalists faced tough competition from entries across Asia, Europe, North America, Australasia, and the Middle East making this the most international competition so far. Responding to that global appeal, we made sure viewers across the world could follow the action by live streaming the ceremony on the night. A first for us, and it went like clockwork. (Expect more of this audio-visual wizardry from the DPC in 2017….). Oh, and our spectacular audience, watching in the auditorium and from the comfort of their own homes, made #DPA2016 a UK top-10 trending hashtag that night. Another first for us.
But enough self-congratulation on our AV and social media achievements….who won?!
Well, those entering the inaugural DPC Award for the Most Outstanding Digital Preservation Initiative in Industry had to contest with HSBC and their Global Digital Archive System, which went on to claim that prize.
Amsterdam Museum and partners saw off the Digital Repository of Ireland and Suffolk Record Office to claim the coveted DPC Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy with their high-profile project ‘The Digital City Revives.’
An innovative project from the Dutch NCDD/NDE partnership won the highly competitive Software Sustainability Institute Award for Research and Innovation for their efforts to ‘Construct a Network of Nationwide Facilities’, while The National Archives and Scottish Council on Archives shared The NCDD Award for Teaching and Communications for their joint ‘Transforming Archives/Opening Up Scotland’s Archives’ training programme. Dr. Anthea Seles of University College London took the prize for The Most Distinguished Student Work in Digital Preservation.
2016 was another first for the DPC Fellowship Award which was presented to Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive. 20 years after the Internet Archive was founded, the award recognized Brewster’s sustained personal contribution to digital preservation, his generously shared insights and his ongoing collaboration for the widest possible benefit.
“The number and quality of applications this year has been astonishing,” said our Chair of the DPC and Deputy Keeper of the Records of Scotland, Laura Mitchell. “We are absolutely delighted to see that the Digital Preservation Awards has become a prestigious event with such a reach that it unites organisations across the world in a common goal to make our digital memory accessible tomorrow. Our winners tonight don’t just demonstrate excellence in digital preservation, but in collaboration and inspiration; they are truly worthy of their accolades.”
In previous years, finalists and winners of the Digital Preservation Awards have gone on to enjoy a much greater profile, with individuals and organisations often finding themselves in a strong position for further funding and future development. Great news for them, and great news for the Digital Preservation Awards!
The Awards are organized by the not-for-profit Digital Preservation Coalition; we are advocates for digital preservation, and ensure our members can continue to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services through advocacy work, training and workforce development, research and best practice, and enabling sustainability through partnerships. Our primary objective is raising awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. The Digital Preservation Awards are just one (really quite fun) way we do this.
Click here to watch the video and see more photos of the night and also to read more about the winners.
And we’ll be doing it all again in 2018, so for your place in the Digital Preservation history books, keep an eye on the DPC website for updates on how to apply for or sponsor the next awards.