Celebrating DigCCurr - Curate Thyself: Defining and Cultivating an Academic Trajectory in Digital Curation and Digital Curation Education Experts Meeting

April 22, 2013

A day-long symposium, a poster session featuring the research of doctoral students and a two-day Digital Curation Education Experts meeting marked the closing of almost seven years of funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for Digital Curation Curriculum (DigCCurr) projects at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Doctoral students and educators came from across the United States, Canada and Europe to participate in the closing activities.

The DigCCurr team of faculty and Ph.D. fellows led the symposium which provided an opportunity for current Ph.D. students interested in digital curation research to collaborate, connect and develop shared resources for research and education. The symposium provided mentoring and advice on research processes and products.

Doctoral students who are conducting research on digital curation, and those who are pursuing a career direction that focuses in that area, participated in the symposium and a special poster session highlighting their research on March 17th, 2013. Some students participated in panel presentations on their research and their path to conducting that research. Instructional sessions focused on developing and strengthening a digital curation research agenda. Participants also discussed strategies for collaboration, publishing and seeking funding as well as teaching strategies, developing and implementing course materials, characterizing teaching methods to employers and developing programs and curricula. Students were charged with creating and sharing their own plans for further development of their research.

A panel of judges evaluated both the posters and students’ responses to questions about them.  Several posters were selected for awards:

• First Place: Patricia Condon (Simmons College), “Digital Curation: A Set of Practices or an Emerging Discipline?”
• Second Place: Bedrich Vychodil (Charles University, Prague), “DIFFER (Determinator of Image File Format propERties)”
• Third Place: Heather Barnes (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “The luxury of looking back: Envisioning film festival archives”
• Honorable Mention: Frances Nichols (University of Tennessee), “New Vetruvian Man: The Application of Curation and Preservation Research”
• Honorable Mention: Thu-Mai Christian (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “Scaling Up To Do Data: Managing Cross-Disciplinary Inter-Institutional Data in the Dataverse Network™”
• Honorable Mention: Heather Ryan (University of North Carolina), “Who’s Afraid of File Format Obsolescence? Developing a Data-Informed Research Agenda for Assessing File Format Endangerment”

Faculty participants included:

• Ian Anderson, University of Glasgow
• Costis Dallas, University of Toronto
• Wendy Duff, University of Toronto
• Tula Giannini, Pratt Institute
• Karen Gracy, Kent State University
• Carolyn Hank, University of Tennessee
• Ross Harvey, Simmons CollegeCal Lee, University of North Carolina
• Nancy McGovern, MIT
• William Moen, University of North Texas
• Ciaran Trace, University of Texas at Austin
• Katherine Wisser, Simmons College
• Jane Zhang, The Catholic University of America
• Helen Tibbo, University of North Carolina

On March 18-19, a group of professionals gathered for the Digital Curation Educator Experts Meeting. The above noted educators were joined by the following participants:

• Peter Botticelli, University of Arizona
• Seamus Ross, University of Toronto
• Carole Palmer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
• Suzie Allard, University of Tennessee Knoxville
• Paul Conway, University of Michigan
• Richard Pearce-Moses, Clayton State University.

The invited experts gave presentations and shared lessons from various digital curation research and education initiatives in North America and Europe.

On March 19th, the experts meeting participants discussed potential next steps and future collaborations. Several ideas for funding proposals emerged: further formalization of credentialing and competencies; sharing of educational resources and infrastructure through virtual lab environments; alignment of curriculum development efforts; and development of case studies.

“The work completed from the grants received for the digital curation projects has been remarkable,” said Dr. Gary Marchionini, SILS dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor. “Helen and Cal have put together an impressive program that is world-class. Our students have benefitted from the expertise drawn from the work that has been done to date, as have many other professionals from around the globe. The results of the DigCCurr programs have put SILS on the map as the place to come for expertise in digital curation.” 

Photos taken during the three day event are available on the SILS FLickr site at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncsils/sets/72157633042843789/