Networks of Preservation: A Line-Up of Events in 2018

planet earth in space with code overlayed
Earth, public domain via Pixabay.

Part of the grant that funds our program for publishing interactive scholarly works is dedicated to helping us get to conferences and meetings with authors and colleagues. This year we’ve already been to MLA and AHA, both typical conferences for publishers to attend when their lists involve language, literature, and history, and both of which have in recent years had strong participation from scholars working in digital humanities.

But unlike typical publishing programs, we must also consider the maintenance and preservation of our publications since they rely on software and infrastructures outside the typical parameters of print production and distribution. This means we need to network and collaborate in fields like digital archiving, internet preservation, and other technologically focused landscapes. As digital production associate, I tend to focus on conferences that address these kinds of issues. I’ll post full reports on each of these, but for now, here’s my line-up for this year.

If you’re a digital humanist or a publisher of digital content, it might be worth at least checking out the programs and following some of these meetings on social media.

LDCX (Library [Archives, Museums] Developer Conference fill-in-your-own-X) is hosted each year at Stanford University. It can get pretty technical, but it’s where all the library folks who will eventually be the stewards of current digital scholarship and archives talk about how they’re going to make that work accessible and discoverable for future generations of researchers.

JCDL (Joint Conference on Digital Libraries) and its accompanying workshop on web archiving offer a chance to learn all the latest on the technologies behind capturing and preserving web content. It’s an energetic meeting that includes a good variety of technical presentations and discussion about the value and endurance of digital culture. The workshop component alone focuses on “ the integration of Web archiving and digital libraries, over the complete digital resource life cycle: creation/authoring, uploading, publishing on the Web, crawling/collecting, compressing, formatting, storing, preserving, analyzing, indexing, supporting access, etc.”

DHSI (Digital Humanities Summer Institute) has become a staple in the field of digital humanities. Held every year at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, DSHI is a pilgrimage point for digital humanists of all levels. Over two weeks participants can take two intensive courses over technological or theoretical issues in DH and present their own work at evening colloquiums. Intensely collegial and productive, it’s something everyone related to DH should try at least once. If you do, you’ll probably be back.

AUP (Association of University Presses) gives scholarly publishers a chance to discuss and present on issues common yet specific to university presses. While I’ll still be looking at issues of sustainability unique to digital publications, I’ll also get the opportunity to reframe what I’ve learned at the earlier technically focused meetings within the context of scholarly communication.

DH (Digital Humanities) is the annual meeting of scholars working in the field. Above all, it advocates for diversity and encourages multi-lingual engagement. The conference covers a range of topics from the history of DH to current projects to political challenges facing DH practitioners and collaborators.

IIPC GA & WAC (International Internet Preservation Consortium General Assembly and Web Archiving Conference) is a conference that brings together international agencies working to preserve web-based digital content and software. For this one, I’ve proposed a panel involving web archiving practices and approaches.

In all, these events should be valuable to the work we’re doing, especially in the production and post-production processes. They’ll also be key in continuing to build mutually beneficial partnerships in the area of preservation. But beyond just our program here at SUP, these meetings represent an aspect of digital work that many scholars might not typically consider. If you’re a digital humanist or a publisher of digital content, it might be worth at least checking out the programs and following some of these meetings on social media.


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