Digital Preservation Education at RAILS

A guest post by Dr Elizabeth Tait, RMIT University.

Dr Elizabeth Tait presenting at RAILS 2019

Dr Elizabeth Tait, Dr Leisa Gibbons and Dr Ross Harvey were co-authors for a paper about the Australasia Preserves Working Group on Digital Preservation Education which was accepted for the recent RAILS (Research Applications in Information and Library Studies) Conference.

Elizabeth Tait presented the paper at the conference which took place at Charles Sturt University’s campus in Canberra. The conference was well attended by library and information management practitioners and academics and included a healthy number of International representatives (including from North America, The Philippines and India) who had attended the ASIS&T conference and extended their stay in Australia to attend RAILS.

The paper first provided an overview about the development of digital preservation and the specific need for digital preservation education in Australasia, then outlined some of the proposals for digital preservation training that the group have developed in working papers, and examples of pilot initiatives, such as Jarrod Harvey’s one day workshop on ‘Automation for Archivists’.

The questions and discussions following the paper were productive and included discussions about how to enable collaboration between learning providers to offer complementary professional development courses, rather than being in competition with one other. A further point of discussion was whether the training should be a formal award. The panel felt that it would be good to have some form of recognition for training, potentially in the form of a micro-credential, and this will be explored further by the Working Group.

The work presented in the paper is just a starting point for further research into the skills and training needs of the Australasia Digital Preservation community and we plan to conduct further research and evaluation in the coming months. If you would like to find out more or get involved please contact Elizabeth, Leisa or Ross. Dr Elizabeth Tait ( Dr Leisa Gibbons ( Dr Ross Harvey (