Curation of digital assets remains a central challenge of the early 21st century. Many information practitioners, regardless of job title, are conducting digital curation activities in a wide range of repositories and institutions today. Examples of these activities include creation of high-quality digital surrogates and originals; selection and acquisition of existing digital assets; creation of metadata for discovery, management, interoperability and preservation; managing intellectual property and other rights to access and use digital collections; file format identification and management; managing archival storage environments; and migration of content over time. Often these are new tasks and processes for which institutions and current staff members have little training or experience. There is a need to identify specific tasks and develop clear and understandable guides to good practice for information professionals working in libraries, archives, museums and other information centers and repositories. This project proposes to create such guides along with other tools to support the cultural heritage repository community, and especially staff in small- to medium-sized institutions in the US and UK, through researched, realistic, practical, and accessible guidance and advice.
The Closing the Digital Curation Gap (CDCG) collaboration was designed to serve as a locus of interaction between those doing leading edge digital curation research, development, teaching, and training in academic and practitioner communities those with a professional interest in applying viable innovations within particular organizational contexts. Project partners included IMLS, Jisc, the DCC and SILS.
Primary Activities, Outcomes, & Products:
- Established and supported a network of digital curation practitioners, researchers, and educators through face-to-face meetings, web-based communication, and various other information and communication technology (ICT) tools;
- Established a baseline of digital curation practice/knowledge, especially in small- to medium-sized cultural heritage institutions in the US and UK, through focus groups and interviews;
- Developed a schema for ongoing development of digital curation frameworks, guidance, and best practices, as well as the roles various organizations (IMLS; JISC; DCC; SCA; academia; and professional organizations) can play;
- Produced selected tools for the target communities , specifically the Getting Started Guides;
- Planned for future collaborative projects based on what we learned from this initial endeavor; and
- Laid a foundation that will inform future training, education, and practice.
- The cultural heritage information community has access to researched, realistic, practical, and accessible guidance and advice as well as self-assessment tools designed specifically for use in small- and medium-sized digital repositories.
- The cultural heritage information community is more familiar with digital curation as a field, specific digital curation activities, and tools and approaches they can take to curate digital content within their institutions.
- The US and UK cultural heritage repository communities have increased awareness of digital curation practices, tools, resources, and research from each partner country (and other resources globally), increasing collaborative efforts to ensure interoperability of digital assets across geographic, disciplinary and institutional boundaries.