Dr. Trevor Owens, the first head of digital content management at the Library of Congress, lectured about the craft of digital preservation.

Dr. Owens contends that the craft of digital preservation is the work of a futurist. We must look to the past trends in the ebb and flow of the development of digital media and hedge our bets on how digital technologies of the future will play out.

This talk explores key issues for exploring and imagining that future. We start with consideration of some key emerging technologies relevant to digital collections and then zoom out to consider the future of digital collections in the context of technologies of surveillance, precarity of both cultural heritage institutions and cultural heritage workers in the context of neoliberalism, and then explore the broad set of challenges facing the future of collections stemming from the increasing effects of anthropogenic climate change. Drawing on frameworks for maintenance, care, and repair this talk concludes with an opportunity to reflect on and consider how memory and information workers should approach the digital present and future of our institutions and professions.

Order of proceedings

  1. Opening remarks by Lynn Weinstein
  2. Stone Lecture by Dr. Trevor Owens
  3. Presentation of Von Dran Award to Laurie Beyer Hall, M.S.L.S. 1983, by Hannah Jones
  4. Closing remarks by Samuel Russell