Digital Preservation Management Workshops

Workshop Goal

Promote Practical and Responsible Stewardship of Digital Assets

The Digital Preservation Management Workshops, a series presented since 2003, incorporate community standards and exemplars of good practice to provide practical guidance for developing effective digital preservation programs. The goals of the workshop are to foster critical thinking in a technological realm and provide the means for exercising practical and responsible stewardship of digital assets in an age of technological uncertainty. 

Next DPM Workshop

Workshop dates Applications accepted starting Tuition fee

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updates pending for 2020


DPM Workshops offered since 2003 - 57 and counting...

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About the Workshop 

The workshop series is intended for managers who are or will be responsible for digital preservation programs in libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions. The workshop sessions are geared towards making a digital preservation program doable for any organization and all of the sessions include as many relevant examples as we can fit. The workshop and Tutorial are now based at MIT under the direction of Nancy Y. McGovern, Digital Preservation Program Manager at MIT Libraries. The workshops, partially funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, were initially developed at Cornell University beginning in 2003 under the direction of Anne Kenney and Nancy McGovern and has been further developed under the direction of Nancy McGovern at ICPSR from 2008 - 2011 and at MIT Libraries since 2012. We have a current grant from the NEH through its Research and Development program to assess the impact of more than ten years of the DPM workshops, incorporate advanced topics in a meaningful, and identify some next steps for curriculum development for digital curation and preservation programs.

Instruction Team

Dr. Nancy Y. McGovern has been a developer of the workshop series since its inception at Cornell in 2003 and continues to serve as the director and primary instructor with a team of expert instructors.

Kari R. Smith and Courtney Mumma will be co-instructors in July 2018.


The workshop includes interactive presentations, group discussions, exercises, individual assignments, and a keynote presentation by an international expert in digital preservation. Workshop attendees explore the range of components needed to develop an effective digital preservation program. Workshop materials include action plans for organizations to complete when participants return to their institutions. Action plans result in organization-specific plans that incorporate technical, financial, organizational, and policy aspects encompassing the full life cycle of digital objects. The workshop focuses on strategies for organizations to implement now, while research and development goes forward in creating longer-term solutions that can be incorporated into the program framework. Workshop curriculum is continually updated to reflect the latest community standards and practice.

The workshop begins with the premise that you are managing digital material and therefore does not specifically cover digitization except in ensuring the quality of digitized and born digital content to be preserved.

The workshop builds on the Digital Preservation Online Tutorial — a prerequisite for the workshop.

A few notes about sessions that build on workshop concepts:

  • Three-Legged Stool: an effective digital preservation program needs to consider the organizational infrastructure, technological infrastructure, and requisite resources — three core workshop sessions address these
  • Action Plans are a workshop takeaway — a to-do list for developing policies and practice at home institutions
  • Technology Trends and Practice workshop sessions incorporate and examine the implications of recent research and developments in the DP community
  • Office Hours is an interactive session with instructors
  • Readiness addresses self-assessment and audit issues for developing a DP program
  • Preservation-in-Action is a series of organizational case studies about their DP programs
Digital Preservation online tutorial Digital Preservation workshop [Five-day version]
  1. Setting the Stage
  2. Terms and Concepts
  3. Obsolescence
  4. Foundations
  5. Challenges
  6. Program Elements

Sunday: Opening Session

Day 1: Organizational Context (program development and legal issues)

Day 2: Building Blocks and Challenges (standards and options)

Day 3: Digital Preservation in Practice (metadata, technology management)

Day 4: Requisites and Readiness (with DP in Action examples)

Day 5: Bringing It Home (project reports and next steps)

Additional Information

Please use the following links to learn more regarding the workshops and how to attend:

The workshop organizers welcome your questions and comments at

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