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Digital Preservationists Anonymous

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The Information Technologists

39A Bartholomew Close



United Kingdom

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Event description



"Many times what we perceive as an error or failure is actually a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth."

Richelle E. Goodrich

Digital Preservationists Anonymous will bring together DPC members (and only DPC members) to share the mistakes made, the pain suffered and the challenges encountered. We will then discuss how to learn from those experiences and move forward. This will be a chance to reflect on things that have not gone as well as we liked, or were difficult challenges to solve, but take a positive approach to these things and find ways forward as a group by helping each other.

Informally referred to amongst the DPC Team as “Fail Club”, this event will have some ground rules. Unsurprisingly, the first rule is the Chatham House Rule. The second rule of Digital Preservationists Anonymous is that you must share with the group. All attendees are expected to deliver a 3 minute / 3 slide lightning talk to tell us about a challenge, set back or “failure”. The third rule is: the group will help. After hearing lightning talks from the attendees, we’ll break out into groups to discuss those issues, and work out how to learn from them and solve them.

Digital Preservationists Anonymous is a new approach for a DPC Briefing Day, which emerged initially from discussions at Connecting the Bits – our annual members day – and was subsequently developed with help from our members.

Key aims/benefits

  • It's an opportunity to share challenges, set backs, and frustrations but realise that you are not alone

  • We will benefit from understanding and learning from the experiences of others

  • We'll actively work together to find a way forward with our shared problems

House rules

  • Chatham House Rule. What happens at DPA, stays at the DPA.

  • Everyone must participate and must bring along some "pain" to share with the group! Every attendee will be expected to deliver a 3 minute / 3 slide lightning talk.

  • Be positive: focus on how we can move things forward

Outline for the day

  • Welcome: William Kilbride

  • Introduction to Digital Preservation Anonymous: Paul Wheatley

  • Lightning talks from attendees

  • Breakout session 1: discuss the challenges. Move around the group and discuss the problems we're facing now. Aim - share pain, identify commonalities

  • Report back, outlining the challenges and observations

  • Breakout session 2: identify a couple of challenges and work through them to identify a way forward

  • Report back, talking about the lessons learned and ways forward

  • Breakout session 3: repeat session 2, but mix up the groups.

  • Report back

  • Wrap up plenary:

    • What challenges did we miss? Discuss them briefly.

    • What are the main take aways for participants?

    • Are there important issues for DPC to take away and address?

    • How did the day go as a whole? Gauge appetite for more. What can we improve for next time?

How to register

This event is for DPC members only, and free of charge. ARA member attendance is limited to one place, and this will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Registration will close one week before the event.

Date and Time


The Information Technologists

39A Bartholomew Close



United Kingdom

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