ArchivematiCamp 2017

ArchivematiCamp UK was a 3 day annual conference held at the University of York. It’s purpose is to bring together organisations and institutions who are either interested in using Archivematica for the long term preservation of digital records, or those who are testing or who have Archivematica in a production environment.

This year’s camp was very well attended, with approx. 40 attendees from across Europe (Netherlands, Budapest, Belgium, Germany) as well as from Brazil. Attendance from HE institutions across the UK was strong aswell with representatives from Universities of Westminster, Lincoln, Newcastle, UCL, ULCC, Kings College, Hull, York, St Andrews and Lancaster.

Given I’d been asked to be a Camp Counsellor for the conference, to assist with keeping the conversations flowing and help with questions and answers, I presented on the first day on the University of Edinburgh and Archivematica. I also presented, at the start of the second day, our current and aspirational workflows for the preservation of digital content, across the record lifecycle. Both sessions were well received and prompted some lively discussion on the issues of metadata transfer, use and synchronisation.

The content of the conference itself covered a variety of topics such as the technical architecture and deployment of Archivematica on different platforms, customisation of Archivematica and automation tools that have been developed by other institutions, which have been shared and can be downloaded, modified and adopted by others, the work Artefactual are carrying out as part of the JISC shared service project as well as recent work undertaken by York and Hull Universities on ensuring Archivematica can be used for preserving research data.

Discussions were had at various point in the conference on how we as a group, a community can enhance the project (by sharing user stories and being more transparent about our situations and objectives) and its output for mutual benefit, and where current models for governing and managing the development of the system can be adjusted to ensure it becomes a more embedded product in the digital preservation sector. There is a UK Archivematica User Group, which is open to institutions across Europe and beyond, who are actively exploring or implementing Archivematica as part of their digital preservation workflow. Anyone interesting in joining that can contact me or Jen Mitcham at the University of York. Archivematica can only be successful as an open source project if institutions continue to support and develop it and ensure that the product is fit-for-purpose and delivers benefits that enable institutions to foster relationships and ensure digital preservation remains at, or near, the top of their agenda.

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