Digital Preservation – Virtual Workshop

September 29-Oct 1, 11am-1pm MDT Edmonton Three sessions (2 hours each) over three days.  Intersession activities of up to one hour will be given prior to all sessions.

This workshop is brought to you in partnership with Canadian Conservation Institute

This workshop outlines best practices for preserving digital information. Topics covered include appropriate selection criteria for physical carriers as well as tools for taking stock of existing digital assets and for developing digital preservation policies, plans and procedures. Software and hardware solutions for digital preservation in small to medium-sized heritage institutions are also recommended.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

●        identify digital assets in their institution and assess the risk and impacts of losing access to these assets;

●        develop a digital preservation policy, plan and procedures;

●        understand the factors relevant to the choice of physical carriers; and

●        install and use hardware and software for the purpose of preserving digital assets in smaller heritage institutions.


Taking stock of existing digital resources

The use of an inventory template to identify digital assets in an institution and to assess the risk and potential impacts of losing access to these assets.  Identification of various physical carriers.  Predicted lifespan of optical discs, magnetic tapes and magnetic disks. Recommendations for management and future selection of physical carriers.

Digital preservation policy development

Discussion of how to use a template to produce a concise and meaningful digital preservation policy. The importance of policy will also be discussed, including using its development as a means of obtaining buy-in from the institution’s management and using the resulting document as a guide to produce a digital preservation plan.

Digital preservation plan development

Using a template to ensure all facets of plan development are taken into account. Learning how to identify constraints, and using these constraints to produce and compare various digital preservation solutions. Selecting and justifying the selection of a digital preservation action plan.

Examples of digital preservation hardware and software for small heritage institutions

Testing of back-up and checksum software.  Discussion of disk pooling as an affordable alternative to linear tape or traditional (RAID) disk arrays.  Example procedures will be covered to produce weekly and monthly back-ups, as well as long-term preservation copies of digital assets.

Target audience

Curators, collections managers, conservators, archivists and other personnel responsible for the preservation of digital assets, particularly in smaller institutions.



Enrollment limits

Minimum 10, maximum 20


Three sessions (2 hours each) over three days.  Intersession activities of up to one hour will be given prior to all sessions.

Fees: $250

Instructor: Ern Bieman has served as a Heritage Information Analyst for the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) since 2007.  He has published multiple documents related to information technology in museum environments, and is currently responsible for all matters at CHIN related to digitization and digital preservation.  Prior to this, Mr. Bieman has worked in the private and education sectors as a Systems Engineer and Technical Specialist, and has worked in the not-for-profit and government sectors managing funding programs for IT-based R&D projects. Mr. Bieman holds a BSc in computer science, and master’s degrees in business and philosophy.  

Registration link: