The OPF team returned to The Hague last week for our Annual General Meeting.
We began on Wednesday 22 May with a meeting of our Board of Directors, which covered OPF’s recent activities and outputs, plans for our new website and some interesting discussions about the FAIR community and the future of the Keepers Registry. After a productive morning, we made the short trip from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek to the Nationaal Archief to greet OPF members who had travelled from far and wide for a day and a half of all things digital preservation!
After lunch, the AGM commenced with the official business. John Kaye from Jisc retired from the board after four years’ service, and Ross King from AIT retired after nine years’ service. Ross has been a director of the OPF since it was first established. Our chair, Barbara Sierman, thanked Ross and John for their dedication and leadership as part of the OPF board. We welcomed two new directors, appointed unanimously by the members: Paul Stokes from Jisc and David Clipsham from the National Archives, UK. Congratulations!
The programme continued as Martin Wrigley gave a round-up of OPF’s activities from 2018/19, including software releases, projects, events and the expansion of our team.
One of the most popular items on the agenda was the ‘member speed networking’ session. We asked members to introduce themselves to any new faces and to share their digital preservation work, their experiences as OPF members, and of course, their favourite type of cake!
We heard in more detail about some of the fascinating work taking place in our members’ organisations during the ‘member showcase’:
- Kam Woods and Cal Lee, UNC – RATOM
- Sheila Morrissey, Portico – The EPub module for JHOVE
- Euan Cochrane, Yale University Libraries – An update on the EaaSI program of work
- Paul Stokes, Jisc – JORH (RDSS)
- Stéphane Reecht, National Library of France – What’s new at the BnF?
- Roxana Maurer, National Library of Luxembourg – Digital preservation challenges at the National Library of Luxembourg
- Kimmo Koivunen, CSC – Digital Preservation in Finland
It was particularly interesting to hear from two of our newest members (Roxana from the National Library of Luxembourg and Kimmo from CSC Finland) about the exciting developments that are taking place at their institutions, and how they plan to progress their digital preservation programmes over the coming years.
After a busy first day, we welcomed an evening of good food, good conversation and even a beautiful sunset at the Scheveningen beach resort.
Day two started with an overview of the recently completed member survey. We received some really valuable comments from the members about this, and we look forward to incorporating their feedback into both the survey report and the forthcoming community survey.
Martin Wrigley’s introduction to the JHOVE2020 programme of work prompted some very interesting discussions about the future of the OPF reference toolset, and further feedback from our members was gathered during the breakout sessions on the Preservation Action Registries (PAR) project. Here, we heard from members about the technical implications of the project, their use cases, and some alternatives to PAR, all of which we will be feeding back to the project partners for our forward planning.
Our lunch break on day two included a tour of the KB and NANETH, including the ‘Highlights in Perspective’ exhibition at the Archives. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the amazing collections housed at these institutions, and we are grateful to our hosts for arranging it!
Our final session of the AGM brought together a cohort of representatives from our member organisations for the panel ‘Digital Preservation 2049’:
The panel shared their thoughts on the future of digital preservation, giving their insights on the Internet of Things, issues surrounding storage, and the extent to which we can expect to consider DP as ‘business as usual’ in thirty years time!
Having bid ‘Vaarwel’ to some of our members on Thursday afternoon, we returned to the Nationaal Archief on Friday 24th May for our ‘Getting Started with veraPDF Workshop’, led by our technical lead, Carl Wilson. We were pleased to see several OPF members as well as representatives from the wider community (including some familiar faces from our ‘Getting Started with JHOVE’ workshop in January!) Carl introduced the PDF/A specification, some of the reasons why validating file formats is important, and where veraPDF fits into digital preservation workflows.
Most of the participants were new to the software, but they left with an understanding of how to install and configure veraPDF, how to interpret the results, and what the future has in store for the software. Participants were also given an overview of how to contribute to the improvement of OPF’s open source tools by raising an issue on GitHub.
All in all, it was a busy and exciting week. We’d like to thank the Nationaal Archief and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek for being such fantastic hosts, and we look forward to sharing the notes, slides and some of the recordings with our members in the coming weeks.