On 28 November 2017, the first group of students completed the basic course ‘Learning Digital Preservation’ (Leren Preserveren in Dutch). The thirteen students, working at archives, museums and a ministry, rated the course of the Digital Heritage Network, Het Nieuwe Instituut (HNI) and the Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation with an 8 (7.96 out of 10).
In Dutch, but…
Learning Preservation is only available in Dutch, but the concept might be of interest to preservation practitioners in other countries. That’s why I’m blogging about the course on the OPF website. The online environment has three modules: basic knowledge (to create a level playing field), (who are) the players (in your sphere of influence), and (how are you going to put) digital preservation into practice. Online machine translation services may help to get a more in-depth look at the content of the course.
History of the course
The history of the course started in 2014, when the Cultural Coalition for Digital Durability (CCDD) conducted research into the state of affairs regarding the sustainable accessibility of born-digital heritage within the cultural sector, with a focus on art, film, photography and architecture. The CCDD concluded, amongst others, that ‘specialist knowledge about the sustainable preservation and management of born-digital heritage is not yet structurally shared and used‘. In 2016, this finding resulted in a case study at HNI: a first version of the learning environment and an in-house group training on the subject of digital preservation were developed, and led to the development of Learning Preservation. Learning Preservation was tested in the spring of 2017 as a pilot, with eight students from the cultural heritage sector. In the autumn, the first official course was given to a first group of thirteen cultural heritage professionals. Students can use the online learning environment for free (but receive no feedback on their work), or enroll in a (paid) open group training course that is held twice a year.
Being a coach
I loved being one of the coaches on this course (with Marcel Ras from the NCDD and Frans Neggers from HNI). I found that I could reuse a lot of my teaching skills from when I was a senior technologist/lecturer at Birmingham City University, and learned a lot myself from the students and guest lecturers. I’ve forwarded the free OAIS course (https://dptp.london.ac.uk/course/index.php?categoryid=13) of the University of London to the students, for learning more about the OAIS reference model.
If you know of additional digital preservation learning environments and/or courses, please share.