Some folks at LC and CDL are trying to kick-start a new public discussion list for talking about digital curation in its many guises: repositories, tools, standards, techniques, practices, etc. The intuition being that there is a social component to the problems of digital preservation and repository interoperability.

Of course NDIIPP (the arena for the CDL/LC collaboration) has always been about building and strengthening a network of partners. But as Priscilla Caplan points out in her survey of the digital preservation landscape Ten Years After, organizations in Europe like the JISC and NESTOR seem to have understood that there is an educational component to digital preservation as well. Yet even the JISC and NESTOR have tended to focus more on the preservation of scholarly output, whereas digital preservation really extends beyond that realm of materials.

The continual need to share good ideas and hard-won-knowledge about digital curation, and to build a network of colleagues and experts that extends out past the normal project/institution specific boundaries is just as important as building the collections and the technologies themselves.

So I guess this is a rather highfalutin goal … here’s some text stolen from the digital-curation home page to give you more of a flavor:

The digital preservation and repositories domain is fortunate to have a diverse set of institutional and consortial efforts, software projects, and standardization initiatives. Many discussion lists have been created for these individual efforts. The digital-curation discussion list is intended to be a public forum that encourages cross-pollination across these project and institutional boundaries in order to foster wider awareness of project- and institution-specific work and encourage further collaboration.

Topic of conversation can include (but is not limited to)

  • digital repository software (Fedora, DSpace, EPrints, etc.)
  • management of digital formats (JHOVE, djatoka, etc.)
  • use and development of standards (OAIS, OAI-PMH/ORE, MPEG21, METS, BagIt, etc.)
  • issues related to identifiers, packaging, and data transfer
  • best practices and case studies around curation and preservation of digital content
  • repository interoperability
  • conference, workshop, tutorial announcements
  • recent papers
  • job announcements
  • general chit chat about problems, solutions, itches to be scratched
  • humor and fun

We’ll see how it goes. If you are at all interested please sign up.