Contributed by Erin Tripp, Business Development Manager for DuraSpace
This was my second time attending PASIG and it was a wonderful experience. It featured stories of successes and failures, detailed explanations of existing guidelines, and expressions of support that we can gain the skills and knowledge to meet our digital preservation goals. If you couldn’t be there, we have you covered:
Group notes were taken here: http://bit.ly/2holqWm
All slides are accessible here: https://pasigoxford.figshare.com/.
This year’s event was characterized by candor. In the opening address delegates were encouraged to ask questions and call out when “the emperor has no clothes.” In the presentations we heard from organizations that are struggling to understand best practices, make a business case for budget allocation, define requirements, and implement preservation workflows. Presentations also celebrated successes, but more importantly described failures we can learn from. That’s not to say the tone wasn’t light hearted. My favorite tweet on day one of the event came from Natalie Baur, host of the upcoming PASIG 2018 at El Colegio de México. It said “Digital preservation in a nutshell #pasig17” and displayed a GIF of a dog in a spaceship captioned “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Natalie’s tweet summed up some of my anxieties. I was presenting on behalf of DuraSpace for the first time since I joined the organization in May. I was responsible for a DuraCloud demo and two lightning talks featuring DuraCloud and Fedora.
For the DuraCloud demo I explained how the content storage and content preservation software and service works. There was an overview of how users can manage content stored in multiple storage providers through a single interface, create and manage units of storage, how to ingest and manage files, and how health checks monitor content for corruption or bit rot. It was well attended, about 30 people were there. I received a few questions I wasn’t able to answer. Luckily I was able to lean on my colleagues Bill and Heather for help. We created and tweeted out this document to record the Q&A topics.
The lightning talks were a wonderful opportunity to address the entire PASIG delegation, approximately 200 people. First I spoke about some exciting goals we have for building a more robust and active community around DuraCloud, including our plans to help implement a DuraCloud service in Europe through a partnership with 4Science (more on that to come in a future blog post).
In the Fedora talk I spoke about how an open source repository can be an important component within a digital preservation workflow and that approaching digital preservation implementation as part of an open source community provides support as digital preservation requirements continue to change and evolve. Honestly, both of these talks are a bit of a blur. I hope I got the message across that these projects stewarded by DuraSpace have digital preservation and community at the center of their ethos.
I can’t conclude this blog post without mentioning the location, Oxford campus. The setting was magical. Our hosts at Oxford University shared corners of their spectacular campus with conference attendees. Many people joked we were visiting Hogwarts when we gathered for supper at Wadham College, complete with lit candelabras.
Social time at PASIG is often just as informative as the presentation content. I had a chance to sit and talk with peers at the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, Trinity College Dublin, Northwestern, the AP Trust, and DPN. We told stories about work travels, migrations, talked politics, and of course were in awe at our privilege to be attending PASIG 2017 at Oxford.