Earlier this year APAC’s Digital Preservation Working Group (DPWG), comprised of members implementing or intrigued by digital preservation, identified a need for sector specific guidance on digital preservation. Performing arts collections typically hold large volumes of digital materials made up of documents such as photographs and programmes, as well as large quantities of audio and video content. These large volumes of digital assets pose challenges to performing arts information professionals due to their formats, access and storage requirements alongside long-term preservation needs.

The teams looking after these assets are typically small and stretched across all aspects of collections management. Budgets for looking after these collections are often limited or non-existent. On top of this, the DPWG group found that digital preservation guidance and training does not adequately serve these types of collections and so a smaller sub-group was formed to write best practice guidance for the performing arts sector. The aim is to publish this guidance in six parts, with Making the Case being Part One.

In Part One, we look at several areas, which will allow you to make the case for digital preservation in your organisation. We begin with considering who in your organisation you should target in order to help you and whose input might be required to authorise the project. This leads to a section on gaining intellectual control of the digital assets within your organisation, which will allow you to plan accordingly in relation to storage requirements and format migration. Then we lay out the benefits of digital preservation and explain how to write an elevator pitch, which you can deliver whenever you can grab a moment with someone influential within your organisation. We move on to cover how to write a business case for digital preservation, whether you are based in a working theatre or any other type of organisation. We conclude by looking at how to draft a digital preservation policy and plan.

To help animate this guidance, we’ve also published two Case Studies from our members:

You can view the Making the Case: Part One Guidance and the accompanying Case Studies here.

We hope that you find the Making the Case: Part One Guidance helpful in making the case for digital preservation in your organisation. If you have any questions or suggestions about the guidance then please get in touch with us at digital@performingartscollections.org.uk.

If you’re an APAC member and would like to join the Digital Preservation Working Group, please email digital@performingartscollections.org.uk.


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