For our Autumn newsletter, we had a chat with Lotte Wijsman from the National Archives of the Netherlands.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role
Since March this year I am a Preservation Researcher at the National Archives of the Netherlands. On a daily basis, I look at how we can further develop preservation at the National Archives of the Netherlands and how we can innovate the archival field in general. This includes considering our current practices and evaluating how we can improve these with e.g. new practices and tools.
How did you get here? What was your path into digital preservation?
When I was doing my Bachelors in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, I became interested in digital humanities. My interest in digital humanities was sparked by the new avenues of research used (e.g. natural language processing), but also by the visual representation of network analysis. The combination of fields such as history and computer science fascinated me. Hence, I wanted to pursue this further and eventually find a career that has this characteristic.
When I entered the archival field through my Masters in Archival and Information Studies, I started learning more about digital preservation. I immediately fell in love with it. I relish the diversity of subjects that all require different types of knowledge. It allows me to develop myself daily, and to position myself between alfa and bèta fields.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on various smaller projects. Many of these are related to outreach to the community. Last week I was able to give two seminars on digital preservation, which was highly enjoyable. I am also preparing talks for iPRES and World Digital Preservation Day. I enjoy interacting with fellow community members on the subject of digital preservation. Discussing the issues we deal with leads to new insights and possibly new practices.
What do you see as the main benefit of OPF membership?
The main benefit in my opinion is the community. The OPF brings people and knowledge together by e.g. organizing webinars and workshops, publishing blogs, and having working groups. As mentioned in the previous question I highly value this interaction with the community. It allows the starting preservation enthusiast to learn a lot from others while also granting a new perspective.
Who are you / what do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to do a lot of different things. Currently, I am spending a lot of free time playing video games since I just bought a new PC. My favourite genre is strategy games where I have the ability to build and plan.
I also love watching documentaries on various topics such as history, true crime, and nature (mostly David Attenborough). Moreover, I am fond of reading. I am currently reading a book about the works of the painter Jan van Eyck. It describes the works in detail and also the symbolism that is present in these works.