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Thursday, June 20 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Environmentally Sustainable Preservation of Physical and Digital Materials

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Preservation activities contribute to anthropogenic climate change through the use of physical and digital infrastructures that often are hidden from view. Panelists explore the energy consumption and resultant pollution and greenhouse gas emissions of current preservation infrastructures, and expand the scope of inquiry to reveal the environmental impact embodied in the full lifecycle of these infrastructures. The session provides solutions to reduce our environmental impact by reducing the unsustainability of current practices and proposes a paradigm shift to create truly sustainable practice.

The Physical Storage Environment: Impacts and Solutions
Christopher Cameron
Creating a quality preservation environment for physical collection materials has evolved beyond the idea that ideal conditions are a standard 70°F with 50% relative humidity. When it comes to creating a storage environment, institutions employ a variety of mechanical systems and space arrangements designed to extend the life of their collections. However, inefficient operation, faulty equipment, or inadequate environmental set points may cause damage to collection materials while consuming excess energy. Most collecting institutions are unaware of these issues due to the fact that they are not self-announcing. Christopher summarizes the pitfalls that many collecting institutions encounter within their storage facilities and introduces strategies to identify and correct them.

Data Storage Materiality, E-waste, and Mitigating the Environmental Impact of Audiovisual Digital Content
Linda Tadic
Focusing on audiovisual digital content, preservation of which can consume a large part of an organization’s infrastructure and resources, Linda describes the physical characteristics of digital storage media (e.g., spinning disk drives, solid state drives, and data tapes), discusses the environmental impacts of cloud storage, and provides recommendations on how to responsibly manage, and mitigate the impacts of, e-waste associated with digital storage media and audiovisual carriers.

Toward Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation
Laura Alagna and Keith Pendergrass
Laura and Keith present their forthcoming research on the environmental impact of digital preservation.
Laura examines the environmental impact of the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure on which digital preservation relies by looking at the full life cycle of ICT components, and offers stopgap measures to reduce that impact using currently available technology.
Keith argues that creating environmentally sustainable digital preservation requires a reevaluation of digital preservation practices to allow practitioners to focus on high-value materials through a renewed emphasis on critical appraisal, to reduce the resource-intensity of digital storage and management by rethinking digital permanence, and to meet user needs in different ways by challenging assumptions about the availability of digital content and the need for “always on” digital access infrastructure.

Rachel Trent will moderate a discussion session following the presentations.

avatar for Rachel Trent

Rachel Trent

Digital Collections and Automation Coordinator, Library of Congress
Digital Collections and Automation Coordinator, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress
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Laura Alagna

Digital Preservation Librarian, Northwestern University
Laura Alagna is the digital preservation librarian at Northwestern University Libraries, where she develops and implements policies and workflows for preserving born-digital and digitized content. Her research interests include repository interoperability, sustainability in digital... Read More →
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Christopher Cameron

Sustainable Preservation Specialist, Image Permanence Institute
Christopher Cameron, Sustainable Preservation Specialist, joined IPI in April 2013. He came to IPI certified in HVAC Maintenance and Repair, having worked as a Facility Manager for eleven years, and serving as Project Manager overseeing various building projects. He received a Bachelor... Read More →
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Keith Pendergrass

Digital Archivist, Harvard Business School
Keith Pendergrass is the digital archivist for Baker Library Special Collections at Harvard Business School, where he develops and oversees born-digital content workflows. He is also the Library's representative on the HBS Green Team, a School-wide staff group coordinating grassroots... Read More →
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Linda Tadic

Founder/CEO, Digital Bedrock
Linda Tadic is Founder/CEO of Digital Bedrock, a managed digital preservation service provider that helps libraries, archives, museums, producers, studios, artists, and individuals preserve their digital content. Her over 35 years’ experience includes positions at HBO, ARTstor... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Stadium Ballroom