Appraisal and Selection

Jørgen Stamp for, CC-BY-2.5-DK

Selection for digital preservation is a common stumbling block among cultural heritage organizations, who sometimes select nothing or everything out of analysis paralysis. The best way to control long-term digital preservation costs is to control the amount of content being preserved. “Cheap storage” does not equate to digitally preserve everything; digital preservation consumes many resources.

With my collaborator Lauren Work, we provided an evidenced-based, pragmatic framework for digital preservation selection. Our framework centers the decision-making on subject matter experts, while also considering preservation-specific criteria. This framework is the foundation for the Penn State Guidelines to Select Levels of Digital Preservation Commitment. Following publication of our 2018 paper (Approaching Appraisal), we have continued to develop the framework, incorporating additional voices and perspectives. We hope to publish a follow-up in 2024.

Selected Presentations and Publications

  • Tallman, N., & Denault, C. (June 13, 2023). “Implementation of Digital Preservation Appraisal and Selection Criteria,” Best Practices Exchange 2023. Slides
  • Tallman, N. & Work, L. (September 26, 2018). “Approaching Appraisal: Guidelines and Criteria to Select for Digital Preservation,” iPRES 2018, International Conference on Digital Preservation, Boston, Massachusetts. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/8Y6DC
  • Tallman, N. & Work, L. (October 16, 2018). “Guidelines and Criteria to Select for Digital Preservation,” Digital Preservation 2018, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Las Vegas, Nevada. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/SE9BA
  • Beking, A., Daigle, B., Collins, I., Keller, T., Mennerich, D., Metz, R., Prescott, L., Tallman, N., Sampson, W., Underdown, D., Wilson, S., & Work, L. (2020). [Levels of Digital Preservation] Digital Curation Decision Guide. National Digital Stewardship Alliance. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/Q8C47
  • Work, L., Tallman, N. , Shallcross, M., & Mumma, C. (November 12, 2020). “The Right Stuff (Over Time): Collaborative Approaches to Selection for Digital Preservation,” Digital Preservation 2020, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Online. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/875XG
  • Work, L., O’Connell, K., Tallman, N. , Dorpinhause, S., Colón-Marrero, E. & (November 4, 2021). “From Policy to Practice: Collaborating with Curators for Digital Preservation Selection,” Digital Preservation 2021, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Online. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/XPG9N
Nathan Tallman
Nathan Tallman
Executive Director

Executive Director, Academic Preservation Trust