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NDSR DC 2017: Blending Collaboriations and Bridging Gaps


Symposium featured speakers (l to r): Jessica Meyerson, T-Kay Sangwand, Matt Zumwalt, and Megan Potterbush (moderator).
On August 17, 2017, the World Bank Group hosted the National Digital Stewardship Residents of DC (NDSR DC) for their annual symposium, Blending Collaborations and Bridging Gaps: Digital Preservation Communities of Practice. The event consisted of speakers, a roundtable discussion, and a series of lighting talks that gave residents in the NDSR program an opportunity to describe the work they had done in the previous year.

The symposium emphasized community-supported efforts that have allowed for project-based or grant-funded digital stewardship activities to transition into long-term, sustainable services. Much like NDSR is funded in order to create a community of practice for digital preservation, the symposium highlighted work being done by both local and distributed communities to support preservation and access to electronic resources. This program is centered around ways these communities leverage both local and international connections to build more robust relationships and greater interoperability between their services.

Meredith Broadway, 2016-17 NDSR resident at the World Bank Group.
Through talks, panels, and interactive break-out sessions, NDSR DC forged connections between attendees in order to strengthen these efforts and to highlight successful collaboration initiatives, strategies, and tools. The program highlighted both US-based and international communities that have seen tangible successes in forming partnerships and shared services. Additionally, the approach of local community-based digital preservation demonstrate an alternative community model that could inform a more ethical means of digital stewardship and equitable knowledge sharing of how to implement these tasks.

9:00-9:30 Registration & Refreshments

Welcome & Opening Remarks:

Elisa Liberatori-Prati, Chief Archivist, World Bank Group

George Coulbourne, Chief, Internship and Fellowship Programs, National and International Outreach, Library of Congress

Trevor Owens, Senior Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

10:00-10:40 Keynote: T-Kay Sangwand, Librarian for Digital Collections Development, UCLA Library
10:45-11:15 Speaker 2: Jessica Meyerson, Research Program Officer, Educopia Institute
11:15-11:25 Break
11:25-11:55 Speaker 3: Matt Zumwalt, Program Manager, Protocol Labs
12:00-12:40 Panel: T-Kay Sangwand, Jessica Meyerson, and Matt Zumwalt
12:40-1:50 Lunch 
1:50-2:20 Resident Lighting Talks
2:20-2:25 Break


Roundtable Discussion 

The afternoon’s facilitated roundtable will bring together people in the DC area who work directly with communities on digital preservation to discuss projects in which the people whose experiences and memories are being digitally preserved are central to the projects. The approach of community-based digital preservation demonstrates an alternative community model that can inform a more ethical means of digital stewardship and equitable knowledge sharing of how to implement digital preservation tasks. Each participant will have a few minutes to provide background information on their project, and then a facilitator will help pose questions and lead discussion between the speakers. Audience involvement will be strongly encouraged.

Guha Shankar, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Lauren Algee, Digital Curation Librarian, District of Columbia Public Library

Joe Tropea, Digital Projects Coordinator, Maryland Historical Society

3:15-3:55 Breakout Discussions
3:55-4:05 Closing Remarks
4:05-4:50 Wine & Cheese Reception

Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker: T-Kay Sangwand, Librarian for Digital Collections Development, UCLA Library

T-Kay Sangwand is a Certified Archivist who has worked extensively on preservation partnerships with human rights and cultural heritage institutions in the U.S., Latin America, Asia, and Africa. She is currently the Librarian for Digital Collection Development at UCLA Library and was previously the Archivist for the Human Rights Documentation Initiative and Librarian for Brazilian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science and MA in Latin American Studies from UCLA. In 2015 Library Journal named T-Kay a Mover and Shaker in the Advocate category. You can find her DJing occasionally around Los Angeles and hosting her monthly radio program The Archive of Feelings on dublab.com.

Speaker: Jessica Meyerson, Research Program Officer, Educopia Institute

Jessica Meyerson is the Research Program Officer for Educopia Institute, where she identifies interdisciplinary research collaborations that help to further understanding of the cultural heritage landscape, and provides project management support for the IMLS-funded OSSArcFlow and Fostering a Community of Practice: Software Preservationists and Emulation Experts in Libraries and Archives projects. She received her M.S.I.S. from the University of Texas at Austin with specializations in digital archives and preservation. As former Digital Archivist at the Briscoe Center for American History, Jessica has experience building social and technological infrastructure to ensure long-term access to cultural heritage materials. She serves the mission and members of the Software Preservation Network – a role that allows her to promote the essential role of software preservation in responsible and effective digital stewardship.

Speaker: Matt Zumwalt, Program Manager, Protocol Labs

Matt Zumwalt is an advocate for re-decentralizing the web. He’s driven by a conviction that, rather than relying on intermediaries when we exchange information, the world needs technical, social and economic infrastructure that empowers communities to create, store and exchange data directly with each other. This conviction is reflected in Matt’s 2016 essay The internet has been stolen from you. Take it back, nonviolently. At Protocol Labs, Matt contributes to stewardship of open source projects like IPFS, libp2p and Filecoin, all of which are focused on building a more secure, more equitable, decentralized web. Some of his recent publications include Instructions for Saving Endangered Data, his presentations on Storing Data Together, the work-in-progress Decentralized Web Primer and (co-authored) policy paper Why is decentralized and distributed file storage critical for a better web? Previously Matt spent 10 years building digital repositories for large research institutions and served as technology lead for an open source collaboration that now includes over 40 of the world’s top libraries and archives.



Participant: Guha Shankar, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Guha Shankar is Folklife Specialist in the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress At the Center, he coordinates a collaborative knowledge sharing and curation program that draws on Library collections to assist Native North American communities in their cultural and linguistic revitalization initiatives. Among his other duties he provides training in ethnographic research methods, media production techniques and archival practice to students, professionals, and members of indigenous communities in the US and abroad. Shankar also serves as Director of the Civil Rights History Project, a joint documentation and collecting initiative of the Library and the Smithsonian’s NMAAHC. His research and collections development efforts, outreach initiatives, publications and university teaching focus on social justice, diasporic community formations in the Caribbean, ethnographic media, visual representation, cultural sustainability and cultural policy. He received a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Political Science & RTF, 1982) and a PhD from UT-Austin (Anthropology, 2003).

Participant: Lauren Algee, Digital Curation Librarian, District of Columbia Public Library

Lauren Algee is Digital Curation Librarian for DC Public Libraries, Special Collections. She manages creation, preservation, and access for digital local history collections and proposed and supervised the National Digital Stewardship Residency project that created the DCPL Memory Lab, a public digitization preservation lab and resource. She is part of the team bringing the Memory Lab model to other public libraries across the country thanks to a National Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and also works on the DC Punk Archive. 

Participant: Joe Tropea, Curator of Films & Photographs / Digital Projects Coordinator, Maryland Historical Society

Joe Tropea is the curator of films & photographs at the Maryland Historical Society, where he creates exhibits, writes and edits the blogs underbelly and Aspect Ratio, and runs the Imaging Services department. He co-founded and serves as the project manager for Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive, a digital repository that seeks to preserve and make accessible materials related to the killing of Freddie Gray and related subsequent events in Baltimore City. His award-winning documentary, Hit & Stay played over a dozen film festivals and his forthcoming feature Sickies Making Films is set to premiere in fall 2017. His interests include doing research, watching movies, and spending time with dogs.


2016-17 NDSR Residents

Meredith Broadway, World Bank Group, “Data Stewardship and Preservation Program” 

Joe Carrano, Georgetown University Library, “Bringing It All Home: Building Digital Preservation Processes for Digital Preservation Platforms”

Elizabeth England, University Archives at the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries, “Large-Scale Digital Stewardship: Preserving Johns Hopkins University’s Born-Digital Visual History”

Amy Gay, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Science & Engineering Laboratories (OSEL), Center for Devices & Radiological Health (CDRH),  Enabling Open Science through the Center for Devices & Radiological Health (CDRH) Science Data Catalog

Charlotte Kostelic, The Library of Congress (LOC), the Royal Collection Trust, & King’s College London, Connecting 18th-Century Data for the 21st-Century: George III and George Washington in the Digital Age

Megan Potterbusch, Association of Research Libraries, George Washington University Libraries, & Center for Open Science, Bringing Life to Research Objects: Managing the Digital Lifecycle of Research from Creation to Stewardship through the Open Science Framwork (OSF) and SHARE