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The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) invites the digital preservation community around the world to submit nominations for its 2019 edition of the ‘BitList.’

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The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is inviting the digital preservation community around the world to submit nominations for its 2019 edition of the ‘BitList.’

The Bit List is the DPC’s Global List of Digitally Endangered Species. Nominations to the BitList are being sought through the summer before being published on World Digital Preservation Day (WDPD2019) on 7th November 2019.

The ‘BitList’ highlights the need for action to preserve high-value digital content that is critically endangered, whilst celebrating the progress the digital preservation community has made to ensure a secure digital legacy.

Members of the digital preservation community around the world are invited to add their nominations to this list. Current entries include content which has no obvious long-term home (Community Archives and Community-Generated Content), different digital formats, or content where the value is recognized but the efforts to preserve have been incomplete (unpublished Research Outputs).  Nominations for 2019 could combine all of these themes, such as Materials Posted to Current Web-based Social Media Platforms or Equivalents, as there is still so little in place to capture the volume, complexity and context of this information.

Nominators are asked to ascribe a risk ‘level’ to the digital material and think about the significance and impact of its loss.

“Digital materials, and the opportunities they create, are fragile,” explains Executive Director of the DPC William Kilbride, “and the lifecycles of technology are typically quite short.  The good news is that the digital preservation community has an impressive track record of providing the sorts of tools and services which will protect many digital species from extinction.  But these simple steps are not well known.  By drawing attention to the risks that digital assets face, we want to draw attention to the simple and sensible steps that we can take to securing them”

Digital objects face multiple risks. In the past, nominations have been thematic rather than self-contained and frequently they overlap. For example, in 2018 politically sensitive data was listed, alongside unpublished research outputs, and material on obsolete media. In theory a digital object could fall into all three of these groups, such as politically inconvenient but unpublished data from research into climate change.  So any given object can face a multitude of aggravating conditions which raise the threat level.

Once the nominations have been collected and collated, an international panel of digital preservation experts will evaluate the entries, before arriving at their final list which will be published on 7th November.

Organized by the DPC and supported by digital preservation networks around the world, WDPD2019 is open to participation across all sectors, from anyone interested in securing our digital legacy.

WDPD2019 brings together individuals and institutions from across the world to celebrate collections preserved, access maintained, and the understanding fostered by preserving digital materials. In addition to the publication of the DPC’s BitList, data creators, curators and consumers from around the world will be invited to showcase their own work, aligned with this year’s theme of ‘At-Risk Materials’ through blog posts on the DPC website, as well as tweets and photos posted to Instagram using the hashtag #WDPD2019.

This activity is just one of the ways the Coalition raises awareness of the strategic, cultural and technological issues which make up the digital preservation challenge.  The DPC also supports members through other advocacy activities, workforce development, capacity-building and partnership; helping members to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services and derive enduring value from their digital collections. A detailed program and more information about World Digital Preservation Day will be issued over the coming months.


Join the twitter conversation about the Digitally Endangered Species list using the hashtag #BitList and #WDPD2019

To get involved in other World Digital Preservation Day activities: