The Introduction to Digital Curation module was a mixture of practical classes, lectures, and guest lecturers from archives and records professionals, and this mixed approach worked really well.
The practical classes were designed to provide an insight into the kinds of digital curation tools and services that are available, including DROID, Preservica, XML, and semantic technologies. Some of these were easier to use than others: DROID and XML were probably the easiest to understand, but I found semantic technologies to be really quite complex, and I still don’t think I completely understand it. For me, the practical classes were incredibly helpful, especially the practical class on DROID, as I’m now using it regularly in my new Assistant Archivist role.
The lectures and guest lectures gave us an insight into how digital curation is being implemented, and these included talks on digital forensics, digital transfer projects at The National Archives (UK), digital preservation at the British Museum, and semantic technologies. I found it fascinating to hear how some of the big institutions in the UK are using digital curation processes, and it gave me an idea of what might archive career might have in store. As part of the module, we all took part in a personal research project, researching a digital curation tool or service of our choice in the space of 2 x 1-hour practical classes, and then presenting our findings to the class a few weeks later.
The coursework for the module involved a 4,000 word portfolio containing an introduction to digital curation aimed at the general public, a breakdown of the digital material for which I am personally responsible for and a discussion of how I plan to take care of some of it, and a reflection on the personal research project that we had presented towards the end of the module. I think that the coursework felt easier to put together that other MA coursework so far, as it was all so reflective, and it really got me thinking about how I will look after my digital material over the long term.
So that’s it! I’ve completed the module and handed in the coursework. The Introduction to Digital Curation module is over, but I’m now implementing some of the digital curation processes in my career.
Header image: University of Maine