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Press Release
February 28, 2007

National Archives to Hold 21st Annual Preservation Conference April 30-May 1, 2007

Managing the Intangible: Creating, Storing and Retrieving digital surrogates of Historical Materials

Washington, DC…The National Archives will host a two-day preservation conference entitled Managing the Intangible: Creating, Storing and Retrieving Digital Surrogates of Historical Materials, on Monday, April 30, and Tuesday, May 1, 2007. Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein will provide opening remarks for the event, which will be held at The Inn and Conference Center by Marriott at the University of Maryland’s University College in Adelphi, Maryland, which is fully accessible.

Managing the Intangible will give attendees an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive discussion on the essential components of the digital preservation reformatting process at the project or program level. An example of what is termed “reformatting” might be taking a collection of analog records, such as photographic film negatives, and converting the visual information they contain into preservation quality image files. These digital “surrogates” will be utilized by future researchers instead of the film originals. There are common issues that influence reformatting decisions and approaches regardless of original media type.

Managing the Intangible will benefit individuals and institutions that are contemplating entering, or have just entered the digital arena by providing a forum to examine the reformatting process in its entirety, rather than a single administrative or technical element of the process. It will benefit those involved with any and all media types, with emphases on audio, video, photography, motion pictures, and microfilm reformatting.

Archivists, museum curators, imaging specialists, preservation professionals, librarians, conservators, IT project managers, and others – those who are responsible for creating and managing digital surrogates of historical materials – will be participating in the conference.

The first conference day will be devoted to formal presentations including:

  • Project Planning – Criteria for Funding Digital Programs and Infrastructure to Support Digital Preservation Programs,
  • Digitizing Fundamentals – Creation, Purpose and Quality Assessment of the Digital Surrogate, and
  • Digital Preservation Programs and Organizational Change.

A reception will follow the first day’s presentations, and an exhibit by vendors who provide products and services to the historic preservation field will be available on both days.

The second conference day will allow media specialists to present case studies of digital reformatting projects followed by a moderated discussion with audience participation to exchange information specific to areas of expertise. The two sessions will be:

  • Static media (still photography, textual and cartographic records and microfilm) and
  • Dynamic media (audio, video and motion pictures).

The discussions will be led by a panel of specialists who carry out reformatting work in institutions in the Unites States and Canada.

Conference speakers and panelists will include experts in the fields of digitizing historical materials, project planning, funding for digital projects and programs, and challenges faced by organizations when moving towards a digital preservation workflow:

  • Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist, National Archives Office of Records Services;
  • Doris Hamburg; Director for Preservation Programs, National Archives;
  • Steven Puglia, Preservation and Imaging Specialist, National Archives;
  • Linda Tadic, Director of Operations for ARTStor;
  • Jim Lindner, Director, Media Matters;
  • Chris Lacinak, Moving Image Archive and Preservation Program at New York University;
  • Charles Kolb, Senior Program Officer, National Endowment of the Humanities; and,
  • Greg Lukow, Chief of Motion Picture and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress.

For the full program, see our Preservation Conference details web page.

The fee for the two-day conference is $275 ($175 for full-time students). For details, registration forms, and information on lodging and transport, go to our Preservation Conference web page. For any additional conference information, please contact Conference Coordinator Richard Schneider at 301-837-3617 or Richard.Schneider@nara.gov.

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The conference is open to the media. For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202 357-5300.

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