Skip to Content

C. Miller - Dance Heritage Coalition/DPDP 6-Month Plan

When I first attended DigCCurr, I was representing the School of Dance at ASU. However, due to administrative and infrastructure changes, my efforts in digital curation with my local collection have been put on hold. As a result and in consultation with Cal, I am shifting into the role I serve within the Dance Heritage Coalition for my DigCCurr participation moving forward.
The Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) is a cooperative coalition of 11 archives specializing in the field of dance, ranging from academic institutions, public libraries, and dance festival archives. The DHC is in the process of building a secure digital repository (OAIS model), tentatively called Dance Preservation and Digitization Project (DPDP), as a part of a larger online resource called Finding Dance.
Following a pilot project period, DPDP  ( currently contains searchable metadata for over 27,000 audiovisual resources from the 11 DHC institutions as well as approximately 100 streamable A/V assets, currently accessible through login and restricted to approved IP ranges from among DHC partners.
Because this project is past an early stage development process yet shows signs of weakness in retrospect, the planning needs require both retrospective rebuilding as well as forward thinking. By McGovern's measures, we are roughly at Stage 2 looking to move squarely into Stage 3.
A 6-month plan for this project would focus on the following goals:

  • TRAC/DRAMBORA for weakness identification and analysis with input from all stakeholders. (Serving future goal of DPDP becoming TDR)
  • A clear collection development policy (currently managed by consensus at Board meetings; loosely implicit)
  • Refinement of stakeholder roles, especially at DHC Board level.
  • Transition from Fedora to Archivematica (A/V large file size issues)
  • Preservation file storage format (currently FFv1) and location (currently on managed virtual servers)
    • Short-term solutions (Lee's legacy systems vs. modularity issues)
    • Long-term commitment from either small collective or single institution
  • Intellectual property and ethical issues with dance; exploring options to make DPDP more open
    • need to draw together 11 disparate institutional policies
    • consolidating and managing wide range of opinions among content creators
    • creating logical submission agreements over two layers (DHC institutions and content creators)
  1. Who is involved in this plan? (A general personnel map of our three-legged stool)
    • Organizational Infrastructure
      • 11 DHC Board members (maintain curatorial/acquisition directions and policies)
      • DHC executive director (supervised by Board and manages all spokes from a central hub)
      • Legal counsel
      • Content creators
        • individual dance artists and their families
        • dance companies
        • dance foundations
    • Technological Infrastructure
      • DHC Technology Committee Chair (from DHC Board, currently me)
      • DHC collaborators/consultants
        • BAVC (digitization; storage of preservation masters; delivery of streamable assets [Amazon S3]; oversees distributed A/V digitization hubs)
        • DHC IT consultant (repository maintenance [currently Fedora]; metadata management [PBCore]; interface design; oversees distributed A/V digitization hubs)
        • Digitization Assistants (operate distributed digitization hubs in SF, DC, and NYC)
    • Resource Infrastructure
      • Funding organizations
        • Mellon
  2. Application of skills and knowledge gained at the Institute
    • As DHC Tech Committee chair, I am in an elected position meant to advise the DHC on its path forward with DPDP and Finding Dance. The broad range of topics and instruction covered by the Institute has clearly prepared me for that, especially with regard to advising and acting as a liaison between curators and technologists among our stakeholders
  3. Implementing the plan
    • The DHC is at a moment when it needs to make tough decisions about how to move DPDP forward towards TDR status. For the moment, we have the resources to make changes; it's just a matter of making good decisions about those changes.
  4. Helpful resources
    • TRAC; DRAMBORA; Archivematica development. Our IT consultant has designed frame-by-frame checksum tool for digital video, but forensics issues with video remain wild-west-like.
  5. Help from Institute participants
    • Archivematica experiences; Intellectual property discussion; Long-term challenges discussion (especially within academic settings); Progressive models for access to copyrighted material.

about seo | blog