Workshop: Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation

Tessa Walsh, Laura Alagna, Keith Pendergrass | BitCurator Consortium

The cultural heritage community has engaged with environmental sustainability in many areas, but is only beginning to explore the sustainability concerns of digital preservation activities. Building off of a recent American Archivist article (“Toward Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation”: or, in which the authors argue that truly sustainable practice will come only from critical examination of the underlying motivations and assumptions of current digital preservation practices, the workshop facilitators will introduce the sustainability framework proposed by the authors and then break into small, participant-driven groups for attendees to evaluate their organization’s digital preservation policies and practices.

After the introduction, participants will split into discussion groups, each of which will focus on one of the three major areas from the article: appraisal, permanence, or availability. Using the paradigm shift framework presented in the article, participants will explore options for creating environmentally sustainable digital preservation while continuing to meet our organizational missions. Following the discussion, participants will identify areas in which they can implement environmental sustainability principles at their organizations (including how to integrate these principles into policies and procedures), identify areas for further research, and work together to create action plans and strategies for continued advocacy.

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Tessa Walsh, Laura Alagna, Keith Pendergrass. (October 24, 2019). Workshop: Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation. BitCurator Consortium.