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National Digital Stewardship Alliance Releases Inaugural National Agenda for Digital Stewardship

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The National Digital Stewardship Alliance, a voluntary membership organization of leading government, academic, and private sector organizations with digital stewardship responsibilities, has announced the inaugural release of the National Agenda for Digital Stewardship. The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) is an initiative of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress.

Digital stewardship is the series of managed activities, policies, strategies and actions that ensure that digital content of vital importance to the nation is acquired, managed, organized, preserved and accessible for as long as necessary.

“As the information universe becomes increasingly digital, there is a growing need to preserve the digital assets that represent the intellectual capital of scientific disciplines, educational communities, and government and cultural agencies,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UC San Diego.

The UC San Diego Library was a founding member of NDSA, established by the Library of Congress in 2010, and Schottlaender plays a leadership role in numerous national digital preservation initiatives. In addition to NDSA, he serves on the Board of Trustees of DPN, the Digital Preservation Network, and he chairs the Executive Committee of HathiTrust, a major collaboration of the nation’s largest academic libraries to create a vast digital repository. DPN is an academic cooperative—led by UC San Diego, Stanford, and the Universities of Michigan, Texas, and Virginia—formed to ensure that the complete scholarly record is preserved for future generations. HathiTrust, the repository for more than 11 million volumes, articles, and other digitized materials, announced last month that it would be joining the Digital Public Library of America, effectively doubling the size of the DPLA’s collections.

The NDSA’s National Agenda will annually highlight emerging technological trends, identify gaps in digital stewardship capacity and provide funders and decision-makers with insight into the work needed to ensure that today's valuable digital content remains accessible and comprehensible in the future, supporting a thriving economy, a robust democracy, and a rich cultural heritage.

The 2014 Agenda integrates the perspective of dozens of experts and hundreds of institutions, convened through the Library of Congress. It outlines the challenges and opportunities related to digital preservation activities in four broad areas: Organizational Roles, Policies, and Practices; Digital Content Areas; Infrastructure Development; and Research Priorities.

The National Agenda identifies a number of areas targeted for key investment, including:

  • Digital Stewardship Training and Staffing
  • Applied Research on Information Valuation, Curation Cost and effective auditing
  • Experiments in Interoperability and Portability of Storage Architectures
  • Integration of Digital Forensics Tools into Stewardship Workflows
  • Development of the evidence base through surveys, experiments and testbeds

Over the coming year the NDSA will work to promote the Agenda and explore educational and collaborative opportunities with all interested parties.

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), a consortium of more than 145 member institutions committed to the long-term preservation and stewardship of digital information, includes member institutions from all sectors, including universities, professional societies and associations, and government agencies at the federal, state, and local level. Further information about the NDSA can be found at

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