Last month we hosted DPC's Student Conference, aptly titled: "What I wish I knew before I started." We asked some of the attendees how they found the conference and how important they believed digital preservation would be in their future.
The conference began with an introduction from Sharon McKeekin from the Digital Preservation Coalition, and we were treated to talks from a range of speakers, including Adrian Brown and Chris Fryer from the Parliamentary Archives; Matthew Addis from Arkivum; Glenn Cumiskey from The British Museum; Jennifer Febles from HSBC; Ann MacDonald from the University of Kent; Dave Thompson from the Wellcome Collection; and our very own Steph Taylor, Senior Consultant - Digital Preservation for CoSector - University of London.
DSLR in one hand and mic in another, we spoke to the attendees to find out a bit about them and why they'd attended this conference.
Yaweng is currently studying Digital Curation at King's College London, and she decided to take this study and career path because she believes the world is changing to a digital landscape, and the rest of the world needs to catch up! She is currently doing an internship for a start-up consulting company.
She is interested in blockchain and believes that Digital Preservation will be important for every discipline and every company, so no matter what direction her career takes digital preservation is going to be crucial in her work life.
She also thinks training in coding and MOOCs will help her career, and uses sites like futurelearn to improve her skillset on the topic.
Thomas came to this conference as he has a general interest in digital preservation and it comes up a lot in his course (MA Library Science at City University). He works part-time at St Mary's University (University of Twickenham) and before that worked part-time at King's College London. He thinks getting to know particular systems that he embarks on in his career will be important when it comes to training in the future and thinks the archivist of the future will be wishing they had lots of print books to maintain!
He thinks the future issues archivists will be facing will be web archiving and social media issues (which were discussed in some of the talks), as well as digital formats becoming obsolete so quickly that compatibility becomes a problem. He also thinks there'll be lots of issues around storage and accessibility, and research data management.
Steph Taylor, one of the main speakers at the event as well as a Senior Consultant in Digital Preservation at CoSector, says this is the second year she has spoken at the event and that it is rapidly turning into her favourite digital preservation event. She says it has inspired her and made her think about her own approach to her job, noting that Dave Thompson's speech from The Wellcome Trust would go down well with anyone regardless of whether you're an archivist or not.
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She also mentions how great it is that everyone speaking has mentioned how wonderful the Digital Preservation community is, and believes it's an amazing community to be a part of.
Anette is on a trainee programme run by the national archives called Transforming Archives. There are 12 positions nationwide and a lot of them attended the conference. Her traineeship focuses on traditional skills and pedaography, so she hasn't focused much on digital preservation but came because she felt it was very important in the sector at the moment and was a key conference to attend.
She says she found it absolutely enlightening and that it was especially useful to hear from a wide range of speakers and to hear about their experiences and the issues and challenges they face, as well as the opportunities.
She appreciated getting pointed towards so many free resources because she hasn't had much to do with the subject before. There was a lot of food for thought, such as preserving social media, which was touched upon during the Q&A and the talks.