World Digital Preservation Day

November 7 is World Digital Preservation Day.

The aim of World Digital Preservation Day is to create greater awareness of digital preservation that will translate into a wider understanding which permeates all aspects of society – business, policy making, personal good practice.

… World Digital Preservation Day is a window into the daily activities of those involved with or contemplating digital preservation and the at-risk digital materials they are working hard to preserve.

This a time to reflect on the activities of the Society in the digital sphere. There are multiple great reasons for digitisation. The Society has a very strong imperative to make as much of its collections available online for the convenience of all members (and especially for members who don’t live near the Society or cannot visit in person for other reasons). The Society also has a very strong need to maximise its use of space in the building and digitisation allows us to retain informational content as we move physical collections to offsite storage.

But the most important reason for digitisation is for preservation. The Society has so much material that is unique, such as personal research collections that represent the lifelong passions of their creators and curators. Many such collections contain extraordinary relics, pictures and genuine letters and documents of historical significance. One remarkable and heartbreaking image found recently by one of our scanning volunteers shows a large black dog sitting alone next to a grave covered in flowers. It was the scanning itself that unlocked the secret of the image, as the presence of the dog had not been immediately apparent to the naked eye. 

Our Digital Resources Team is made up of industrious and talented people who assist the Society by scanning collections according to preservation standards, checking the quality of scans to the originals and preparing copies of digital image files for display on our website (in SOG Data Online) for members to access and for other volunteers to index.

If you are interested in joining the Digital Resources Team you’ll receive training and support, and you’ll know you’re helping the Society do something great in preserving unique materials for the future. Take a look at the position description on the volunteer page of our website (address below).

Christine Worthington, Volunteer Manager

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