Nathan Tallman

Nathan Tallman

Digital Preservation Librarian

Penn State University

My philosophy on digital preservation is two-fold. First, good stewardship is fiduciarily responsible, regardless of an organization’s resources. Without sustainable strategies, resources required for digital preservation can easily escalate and eventually put the organization’s mission at risk. Second, a successful digital preservation program is an embedded culture. Digital preservation requires all stakeholders to have the shared understanding that nearly every aspect of the creation and management of digital content has preservation implications. As a collaborative leader, I engage stakeholders to develop this understanding.

I am the Digital Preservation Librarian at the Penn State University Libraries. I coordinate policies, workflows and practices to ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of the Libraries’ born-digital and digitized collections. I advise on equipment, infrastructure, and vendors for Penn State digital content.


  • Master of Library Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, May 2009
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, State University of New York at Buffalo, December 2005
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration, Monroe County Community College, May 2004


Digital Preservation Librarian, Associate Librarian
February 2017 – Present University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Leads development of an effective and achievable strategy to create a cohesive digital preservation program.
  • Responsible for infrastructure planning; the design, implementation, and management of policies, practices, and workflows; for the long-term protection of, and access to, digital materials created and acquired by University Libraries.
  • Represents Penn State University in digital preservation networks and consortia, such as the Academic Preservation Trust, MetaArchive Cooperative, and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.
  • Serves as resource expert in digital content management, establishes and improves workflows, seeks to integrate systems, and bring efficiencies to repository management.
  • Supervises professional staff supporting the digital preservation program.
Digital Content Strategist, Associate Librarian
January 2014 – January 2017 Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Facilitated a matrix team of library liaisons, archivists, records managers, technical librarians, repository developers, and other specialists (e.g., metadata, scholarly communication) in the planning, budgeting, strategy formation, and creation of digital content. Planed, implemented, and co-managed on-site digitization facilities.
  • Coordinated or performed all aspects of digital collection workflows including the creation and organization of digital objects; metadata creation and assignment; collection building through both batch and online methods; and quality control measures.
  • Lead efforts to develop a digital preservation policy framework and lifecycle diagrams of licensed and library-owned digital content, leading to the creation of a digital preservation policy for all library material.
  • Partnered with special collections staff and managers of rare and unique library and archival collections, to plan and execute large scale digitization projects, including grant writing and fund raising.
Associate Archivist
February 2010 – December 2013 Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Arranged and described archival collections using professional standards (DACS, EAD) to ensure access by present and future users. Implemented, configured, and managed Archivists Toolkit for collection management.
  • Streamlined descriptive process through implementation of automated methods for creation of MARC records; EAD finding aids (including print and web derivatives); and labels for collection folders and boxes.
  • Built online discovery layer using open-source VuFind for searching online catalog, website, finding aids, and digital objects.
  • Coordinated management of digital collections and their preservation by developing workflows, procedures, and documentation.
Processing Assistant
October 2007 – January 2010 Buffalo, New York
  • Processed collections by surveying materials, identifying an organizational structure, arranging materials, conducting basic preservation work, and describing collections in finding aids.
  • Created finding aids using professional standards such as Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) and encoded finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD).
  • Collaborated to build a digital collection of archival images of the Love Canal environmental disaster, including selection, subject analysis, and metadata creation.
  • Provided reference service to patrons in the Special Collections reading room and remote researchers.

Recent Publications