At AVP we have a dedicated team of globetrotters with a mission to solve problems around data management. We strive to be good global citizens and share our experiences whenever we can. One of the last efforts of the year will come from AVP Partner and Senior Consultant Bertram Lyons. Bert has an extensive history of engagement in the global cultural heritage community through years of participating in trainings, presentations, and conferences in addition to his varied day-to-day work with AVP.
This week Bert is headed to Prague, Czech Republic for an event in conjunction with the National Museum of the Czech Republic. This will be the second year in a row that he has visited. Last year, he spent two days learning about their projects and workflows at the National Museum. Bert in conjunction with Michal Konečný and Bohus Získal, will be facilitating a day-long seminar on digital preservation. The seminar is attached to a national yearly gathering of archives, libraries, and museums.
Bert was invited by Filip Šír. Filip has been a tireless advocate behind the New Phonograph project which is a comprehensive effort to create universal audio preservation procedures for the Czech Republic. Bert and Filip first met in 2013 at a conference for the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA). Bert is a very active member of IASA, serving on the executive board and as the editor of the IASA journal. Filip says Bert’s experience in digital preservation, software, and audiovisual formats is unique. He knew that Bert was the right person to dialog and share with the greater cultural heritage community serving the entire nation.
Filip feels that this seminar is different from ones in the past because it’s broadening the audience beyond curators and technical staff to managers, executives, and other key people working to preserve cultural heritage. The goal is to present primary digital preservation concepts together with practical examples of preservation practice worldwide with a focus on related organizational prerequisites. But it is not intended to be a lecture, rather it is a time to share, discuss and inspire collaboration. Filip says lots of progress has been made but overall there is a need for well formulated strategies that aren’t fragmented by departments and institutions. He thinks that very few organizations have made it to a satisfactory level of long-term digital preservation. He hopes that the conference and the seminar will bolster these efforts and give renewed energy to the people working on this every day.
For Bert, trips like this are extremely valuable to the project work he does with AVP. It’s a chance for him to step out of his normal routine and learn from colleagues working in very different institutional and political environments. He says that overall, despite what resources organizations do or don’t have, it comes down to having passionate people in place to champion for progress. While some people may have anxiety about what they are doing right with digital preservation, the truth is most everyone is in the same boat—just trying to learn as they go and build a network of support that talks about how to keep raising the bar. Ultimately it does take financial and programmatic support for long-term digital preservation to be effective, but not as much as some may think if good planning is in place.
This seminar is a huge step in that direction, with more than 150 people participating. Bert says that the more bridges that can be built between collections and information technology, the faster the potential progress.
Learn more about the seminar, the National Museum and on-going preservation projects at these links:
Digital Preservation Seminar with Bertram Lyons, Michal Konečný and Bohus Získal
20th Conference Archives, Libraries, Museums in the Digital World 2019