22,23,24 September 2020Online
There is no iPRES conference this year and the postponement means we are lacking our favourite opportunities to meet and greet as a global digital preservation community; to sustain old friendships and develop new ones; and to convey new insights or explore emergent challenges that are more easily shared in person. The gap is all more frustrating for the very many topics we could discuss.
We miss iPRES.
Digital preservation is all about collaboration. All are welcome in this dynamic and diverse community. Everyone has something to offer: computing and engineering; libraries and archives; researchers and their audiences; the past and the present; the present and the future.Collaboration has been a central pillar of a shared response to a shared global challenge. If you are working in digital preservation and you arenotcollaborating, then you are on a lonely road. In this year of lockdown and distancing a familiar fact becomes apparent. You cannot collaborate alone.
Here’s the paradox. In the year in which we all have most in common, we are able to share least. In the year when digital infrastructures have become central to our lives, our opportunities to plan and reflect on our own digital infrastructures are subdued. In the year when we have learned so much and have so much to tell, we are most constrained in how we impart all that new-found and hard-won knowledge.
So, the global digital preservation community is cordially invited to join in a programme of talks and presentations on 22nd, 23rdand 24thSeptember– a celebration of iPRES and the digital preservation community. We will be meeting online. All are welcome.
To be clear, #WeMissiPRES is not a conference. This invitation is generic, the proposed themes are expansive and the review process lightweight. There will be no ‘papers’ in the formal sense and nor will there be a weighty edited volume of proceedings. Think of this not so much as a call for papers as an invitation to sustain our discussions and keep us connected, until the time is right for a fully fledged conference again. It’s more like a fringe festival or a coffee shop conversation.
This invitation is issued by a group of friends of iPRES who have each worked or submitted to the conference before.We have each learned and grown and been challenged at iPRES and we know how much work has gone into conferences in the past. We want to make sure all that hard work and momentum is not lost, and that our shared values and insights are sustained. We want to make sure that there’s a chance to share and celebrate the amazing achievements of the digital preservation community in this most unusual year.
All are welcome.
Register now to join us for three half days of online iPRES celebrations in September, including a mix of presentations and interactive discussion, all supported by social and networking opportunities, as follows:
Although this is explicitly not a conference, we take past iPRES conferences as our point of departure. Each year the iPRES themes have related digital preservation to the challenges of our times: a message about the relevance of our work that is all the more important this year. In 2020 we were promised an iPRES to ‘empower digital preservation for the enriched digital ecosystem’ without knowing quite how enriched or vital that digital ecosystem was about to become. With an ‘Eye to the Horizon’ (2019)we can see through the fog, to a place ‘Where art and science meet’ (2018).‘Maintaining cultural diversity in the digital age’ (2017) has never mattered more, when we are facing a pandemic that touches every corner of the globe, and voices are raising the realities of racial inequalities on a mass scale.
#WeMissiPRES is not an official iPres conference. It’s not even a conference. It’s a collaboration and celebration of iPRES and all the digital preservation progress that has been made since the last gathering. To ignite the conversation, we have identified three themes:
- Picking up the threads of 2019
#WeMissiPRES falls more or less on the anniversary of iPRES in Amsterdam in September 2019. It has been a year which few could have anticipated. What has happened with all the great insights and plans we shared then? Themes about the role of archives in structural inequalities, the sociology of digital technologies and the preservation of open source intelligence were particularly prominent in the 2019 discussions,and a whole slew of projects, technologies, use cases and solutions were showcased. How have they fared considering the many upheavals of 2020?
- TheBest of Digital Preservation, 2020
#WeMissiPRES gives us a chance to celebrate the best of digital preservation this year. That’s partly about how the digital preservation community has responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but also the economic crises, the social movements, and ecological traumas of the year. The biennial International Digital Preservation Awards also take place in2020, and the global digital preservation community is invited to participate. Despite the gloom and worry, there’s a lot to celebrate! #WeMissiPRES gives us an opportunity to do that.
- DigitalPreservation in 2021
#WeMissiPRES gives us a chance to consider the near future, relating digital preservation to the ‘new normal’.Let’s face it, 2020 has been so disrupted that at times we’ve all struggled to plan to the end of the week, let alone to plan the long term of our digital infrastructures. This conversation is urgent. Will it be ‘business as usual’ when we get back to work? Or will the return to normality mean going ‘back to the (unknown) future’? How do we capitalize on the successes we have demonstrated? What new challenges have arisen unseen? So we welcome reflections on actual events that have changed the world, and how digital preservation will have to accommodate them; and all other ideas about the future of digital preservation. One thing is certain, however: #WeMissiPRES also gives us a chance to relaunch and update plans for iPRES in 2021. So we will take this opportunity to give at least one small taste of the iPRES in 2021.
Call for Assistance
An adhoc Programme and Organizing committee has been formed from a group of friends of iPRES:
But we still need help! We will need chairs, discussants and prompters to help keep us on track. If you would like to offer your assistance, please firstname.lastname@example.org.