Nathan Tallman

Nathan Tallman

Executive Director

Academic Preservation Trust

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 Executive Director of Academic Preservation Trust. I articulate a vision and execute strategic management for a community-owned distributed digital preservation service. I provide operational oversight of APTrust operations, including the development of plans and processes for the lifecycle of deposited content and the integration of digital preservation processes at existing and prospective APTrust member institutions.


  • 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


Executive Director of Academic Preservation Trust at University of Virginia
January 2024 – Present Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Articulation of a vision and execution of strategic management for a community-owned distributed digital preservation service.
  • Development of strategies to achieve APTrust’s vision, with regular assessment of outcomes to assure the long-term financial and operational health of the enterprise.
  • Effective management of projects and staff, augmented by contributors from member institutions and consulting entities when needed.
  • Evaluation of service proposals, design of fee structures to support them, and provision of regular status and financial reports to the Board.
  • Regular engagement with Sustaining Members and other interested parties, and exploration of collaborations with related entities such as the Digital Preservation Coalition, the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, and the Digital Preservation Services Collaborative.
  • Coordination of the consortium’s activity in digital preservation research that aligns with APTrust’s mission and is financially prudent.
  • Operational oversight of APTrust preservation-repository operations, including the development of plans and processes for the lifecycle of deposited content and the integration of digital preservation processes at existing and prospective APTrust member institutions.
Digital Preservation Librarian, Associate Librarian
February 2017 – December 2023 University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Lead 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.
  • Represented Penn State University in digital preservation networks and consortia, such as the Academic Preservation Trust, MetaArchive Cooperative, and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.
  • Served as resource expert in digital content management, establishes and improves workflows, seeks to integrate systems, and bring efficiencies to repository management.
  • Supervised 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