LDCX, BDAX & PDA

Last week I attended three events held at Stanford University: LDCX, Born Digital Archiving eXchange (BDAX), and Personal Digital Archiving. There was a lot of digital archives talk at all of these events, and it was great to chat with folks who are also dealing with the issues I’m encountering in my work.

LDCX is a two-and-a-half day unconference that brings together technologists from libraries, archives, and museums. After introductions and lightning talks, sessions were proposed, and then voted on, by participants. Breakout sessions covered many, many topics, including linked data, data modeling, digital repositories, web archives, and specific systems like Hyrax. Notes for all sessions are available in a Google Drive folder.

I attended three archives-specific sessions: ArcLight/Archival Discovery, Preservation & Archiving of Born Digital Content, and Born Digital Archival Description. ArcLight is (or rather, will be) a Blacklight-based system to support the discovery and delivery of archival materials. The D-Team will be contributing to an upcoming work cycle to develop the ArcLight minimum viable product, so this discussion provided some helpful context. And the other breakout sessions set the stage for BDAX, which happen concurrently with the second day of LDCX.

BDAX is also an unconference, though much smaller, shorter, and more focused. (I attended BDAX last summer.) It was great to be able to dive into topics specific to born digital archives, including workflows, training and documentation, security, complex digital objects, recovery from failing media, and metadata. I’ve been thinking a lot about workflows, training, and documentation in the context of the Digital Processing Project, so it was great to be able to see where other folks are at in their own institutions.

The PDA conference consisted of traditional presentations and panels, covering the management, preservation, and use of digital archives created by individuals, families, and community organizations. I really enjoyed Kim Christen‘s keynote, “Personal, Political, Public: Digital Archiving the Present,” as well as a panel on citizen documentation of police. I also thought Dorothy Waugh’s talk, “Second-Generation Digital Archives: What We Learned from the Salman Rushdie Project” was a really great reflection on one of the first born digital personal papers collections to be made available to researchers. I remember reading about the project in grad school, so it was awesome to see an analysis of the failures and accomplishments five years later.

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