Teaching and Learning About Digital Stewardship

Gaining the knowledge, skills and experience required to manage digital assets and provide access to them over time can sometimes feel like trying to hit a moving target. Almost all heritage organizations now have a responsibility to steward some kind of digital content be it e-books or journals, digitized materials, electronic records, digital photographs, data sets, web sites, social media content, GIS, games or other audio visual materials. But few organizations have the experienced staff or the technical infrastructure to deal with the volume and complexity of the digital materials they have stewardship over now, let alone what may come to them in the future.

Students in classroom at Holton Arms School. Photo by Theodor  Horydczak. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/thc.5a48699

Students in classroom at Holton Arms School. Photo by Theodor Horydczak. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/thc.5a48699

What heritage organizations do have are dedicated and passionate staff who are often eager to gain new skills and work together on challenging problems so they can fulfill their organizations’ missions. There are many good options for training, courses and workshops in digital curation and preservation. However, more education and training opportunities for digital preservation are still needed (PDF) to instill core digital preservation practices in all of the cultural heritage organizations that collect digital materials.

To help meet this need and leverage existing efforts, the National Digital Stewardship Alliance is forming an Education and Training group as part of the NDSA Outreach Working Group.  The initial aim of this sub group will be to provide a venue for NDSA member collaboration around education and training issues. The group will also work directly with Library of Congress staff managing regional train-the-trainer events through the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education program and the National Digital Stewardship Residency.

Possible first tasks include expanding the underlying curriculum used in both of the programs for different audiences and creating open web-based materials that guide and support trainers and learners through the curriculum.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Education and Training group, please contact the NDSA Outreach Co-chairs through NDSA@loc.gov.