iPres 2022 has the title Data For All, For Good, Forever: Let Digits Flourish. It invites reflection and debate about how digital preservation can support communities, ecologies, economies and ideas, so that they might flourish too.
We welcome all original contributions that will develop the theory and practice of digital preservation. These may include scientific models and outcomes of research, creative solutions to shared challenges in daily practice, outcomes of innovative collaborations, state of the art in education, training and work-force development, and insight-oriented institutional and personal progress towards digital preservation goals. We encourage submissions which describe collaborations across and beyond cultural heritage domains; we welcome proposals that describe research and practice in agencies of all sizes and in all sectors; and we extend a particular welcome to newcomers to iPres and recent entrants into the digital preservation community.
We actively seek negative findings and failures from which the most valuable lessons can often be learned. As Glasgow’s most famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh would have said, “we find more hope in honest error than in icy perfection.”
iPres 2022 will be a hybrid conference and proposals are welcome whether or not contributors expect to be present on site.
Historically, the iPres call for contributions has provided a detailed elicitation of themes and threads. This year, after careful consultation, we have simplified the conference to five headlines. Our aim is to provoke and structure your ideas, not limit them. We do so with an inclusive and broad definition of digital preservation as all the actions necessary to ensure access to digital content beyond the limits of technical obsolescence, functional change or physical degradation.
The conference theme adapts the motto of the host city, ‘Let Glasgow Flourish’ and the core themes are structured loosely around moments and influences in Glasgow’s history and identity.
The name Glasgow means literally the ‘Dear Green Place’: a place to consider the ethical and ecological context of our work. We therefore call for contributions that explore and develop the environmental sustainability of digital preservation practices and the role our work has in support of environmental wellbeing and sustainability. A broader invitation is made to consider the role that digital preservation can play in delivering or impeding the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the climate crisis and climate justice.
Glasgow is ‘The Workers’ City’ where sustainable, skilled and inclusive communities of practice work together. We therefore call for contributions that consider the wellbeing, capability and formation of the digital preservation workforce. More broadly, technology has become the theatre and means of division, exploitation and harm, while the fragility of digital media has given cover to those who would hide their actions. So we invite discussion about how our work contributes to the communities in which we live and work.
Adam Smith wrote ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in Glasgow: a place to model, measure and sustain an emerging digital economy, open to all with common purpose for the common good. We seek to understand the economics of digital preservation, and invite discussion about the place of data in the wider economy and the role digital preservation plays, or could play, in sustaining value. We recognise the digital economy as a place of asymmetrical exchanges, of surveillance and control where the questionable acquisition and secretive exploitation of large volumes of personal data means large profits can be made without scrutiny. Therefore, we welcome thoughtful proposals which combine digital preservation insights with challenges to surveillance capitalism.
Glasgow is a city of revolutions, industrial and otherwise: a place of innovation and radical disruptions. We invite contributions which describe innovative tools and radical departures that support digital preservation. Keeping an ‘eye on the horizon’, we want to hear about new information and communications technologies, and consider how these will challenge and transform our assumptions about preservation and access in the long term. We also seek to understand the social and political impacts of these technologies so that digital preservation is ready to deliver an authentic record of our times, supporting accountability, transparency and justice.
Glasgow is built around the River Clyde, and ‘Clyde-Built’, has become an idiom which means ‘Built to Last’: engineered for the harshest of conditions and proven to endure, whatever comes. We seek contributions which describe and demonstrate pragmatic approaches in organizational and technological resilience; as well as the challenges so obstinate that they never go away. We invite discussion and debate about the configuration and wellbeing of the digital preservation workforce as a facet of resilience. We welcome contributions that describe testing and quality assurance measures which embed digital preservation by design; and we welcome lessons about resilience from the deep (pre)history of communications technology.