Learning About (and Contributing to) Digital Preservation Outreach

This is a guest post by Ingrid Jernudd, a volunteer with NDIIPP.

I am a senior at Stanford University who is pursuing a degree in psychology. In the past I have worked for a public relations firm, worked on planning events and with community outreach for Stanford Dining, and been a research assistant in psychology labs at Stanford. These experiences, combined with an international upbringing, have contributed to my interest in effective methods of communication. In addition to these occupational experiences, I studied abroad at Oxford University for the second half of my junior year. This unique academic experience was eye-opening for me, as I discovered a passion for using digital sources for research and was provided with an irreplaceable opportunity to improve upon my writing.

Ingrid Jernudd

Ingrid Jernudd

My appreciation for access to digital resources, combined with my strong interest in effective communication, brought me to the Library of Congress this summer. I want to gain some practical experience in helping raise popular awareness about the value of digital preservation in our lives.

With the advent of globalization, and an increase in the role of technology, the need for the effective and rapid dissemination of information is apparent. Digital information has provided a solution to this in a number of ways. For instance, communication tools like social media and email enable people across the world to contact each other and share information in a matter of seconds, and digital 3D models of historical artifacts ensure global access to sources of cultural heritage.

I, personally, have definitely benefitted from this transition from physical to digital information, although my experience with digital preservation is limited. For instance, various social media websites provide a simple way for me to keep in touch with friends in other countries. In regards to academics, my professors at Stanford post their lectures and homework on course websites, and I have accessed countless numbers of research articles online when I have not been able to find a physical copy.

While I take these resources for granted, not everyone is aware of their availability. Moreover, these resources will only continue to be available if they are properly archived and maintained by ensuring that the archived digital information keeps up with new software as technology advances.

In order for this to occur, people not only need to know how to access digitally archived information, but also how to digitally archive and preserve information themselves. This is what I will be helping with at NDIIPP. While my own knowledge of the intricacies of digital preservation is limited, I do have communication and outreach experience. During my time with the NDIIPP, I will be working on creating tutorial videos on various methods for creating and archiving digital information, writing blog posts for The Signal, and continuing work on a previous NDIIPP outreach project that involved working with libraries to increase awareness about digital preservation. Along the way, I hope to learn more about digital stewardship, and the future trajectory of digital preservation. I am excited about volunteering with the Library of Congress, and look forward to working on my communication and outreach projects.