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'Digital curation buys us options – invest in opportunity' by Sarah Middleton

With the ninth IDCC Conference heading stateside in February and iPRES jetting off down under to Melbourne in October, it’s a shame there isn’t another international cross-sector digital preservation conference taking place on European shores this year.

Oh wait …there is!

Brought to you by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and the 4C (Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation) Project, the event entitled ‘Investing in Opportunity: Policy, Practice and Planning for a Sustainable Digital Future’ will take place at the newly refurbished Wellcome Trust in London on 17th and 18th November, neatly sandwiching the 2014 Digital Preservation Awards which will take place at the same venue. And registration opens today!

I admit that I am possibly over-excited by the prospect of this event, but then my interests lie in both the DPC and 4C camps. Nevertheless, the two days promise a fascinating deep dive into the economics, long-term value and policy, practice and planning for maintaining the sustainability of digital objects.  

A sneak preview of 4C Project resources is guaranteed, as is the opportunity to be part of their final review. Participants will be invited to consider the implications of these resources, providing the chance for a last polish before they are parcelled up and delivered to the European Commission.

Furthermore, there is the chance to articulate your dreams for a digital curation utopia and the conditions under which this would burgeon forth and flourish (no doubt leading to a lively debate on future trends in digital curation). Meanwhile, the 4C team will be standing by to hoover up all every facet of the conversation and turn it into a shiny, and immensely useful, Roadmap for a sustainable digital future.

What more could you want? For all this to be completely free of charge and funded by the European Commission? Oh yes, it’s that too.

Deciding on the name of the conference, 4C Project Co-ordinator Neil Grindley mused that, ‘we only do digital curation because it buys us options (opportunities) later. We don’t know what those options are yet but smart investment in this process helps guard against uncertainties.’

One certainty is that digital content creators, curators and funders alike, across public and private sectors, will find relevance in addresses from digital curation leaders. Their insightful and pertinent analyses of the state of the art in digital curation will remind us all of the need to make smart investments now, to buy ourselves options for the digital curation utopia we are striving to achieve. And the 4C project will aim to show us how.

Registration for the ‘Investing in Opportunity’ Conference is free and open now, but places are limited. What are you waiting for…? 

Sarah Middleton, Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC)

Sarah and the DPC are contributors to the 4C Project work package “Engagement,” developing The Project Communications Plan and other communications deliverables which will enable two way interaction between the project and its wide range of stakeholders.