Meet David Clipsham

Quattro Pro for DOS: an obsolete format at last?

For our summer newsletter, we spoke to David Clipsham from The National Archives of the UK who was recently appointed to the OPF Board of Directors.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role

I work as the Technical Architect for the Digital Archiving department at The National Archives. I work with our developers and business owners to design systems and services to support our digital archiving and preservation activities. I also oversee the team’s continuing research activities for the PRONOM file format registry.

How did you get here? What was your path into digital preservation?

It was a happy accident! I previously worked as Customer Services Manager for a social collaboration platform The National Archives hosted on behalf of Central Government, and I had a background in IT systems and application support. I shared an office with the Digital Preservation team and became good friends with them. When my project funding ended I joined the team, initially as a Digital Archives Assistant, and shortly after became the lead researcher for PRONOM. I quickly realised that Digital Preservation was the field I would have always wanted to work in, if only I’d known it had existed sooner!

What are you working on at the moment?

My team is commencing work on a ‘Transfer Digital Records’ service that will help our depositors to prepare and transfer their records across to us. We’re really excited to be working with cloud services for the first time, and we fully intend to ‘code in the open’ on GitHub – I think it’s really important to work transparently where possible.

What do you see as the main benefit of OPF membership?

For me the key benefit is OPF’s commitment to both maintain existing and to develop new software tools that support the digital preservation activities of a variety of types of institutions within and beyond the heritage sector. I’ve also always long admired the platform for knowledge exchange OPF provides – I blogged on the site on file format research before The National Archives even joined OPF, because it felt like the right home for discussing the more technical aspects of digital preservation.

Who are you / what do you like to do in your free time?

I love live music, travelling, and bouldering, and I especially love opportunities to combine those activities. I’m spending part of June in a forest in France climbing rocks, and It’s not unknown for me to head to Germany or beyond to see some of my favourite bands play.


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