Digital Preservation Awards 2020

‘Amplifying Change’ and the 2020 Digital Preservation Awards

'Amplifying change: A history of the Atlantic Philanthropies on the island of Ireland', was officially launched at a celebratory online event on 10 September 2020. Shortly after the launch, the collaborative project between the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) and the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) at Cornell University Library was announced as one of three finalists for the prestigious National Archives Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy. This Award celebrates initiatives for their practical application of preservation tools to protect at-risk digital objects.

The three finalists for the 2020 National Archives Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy were:

Sponsor of the Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy, John Sheridan of The National Archives (UK), said:

[T]his award embodies the very essence of digital preservation. All three finalists have challenged threats to our digital estate and are saving important digital collections which might otherwise have been lost.

The Award recognised the work of Digital Archivist Anja Mahler, Oral Historian and Historical Researcher Bláithín Ní Chatháin, and Atlantic Philanthropies Archivist at RMC Phoebe Lynn Kowalewski. The digital preservation community had the chance to hear more about the work of the 'Amplifying Change' project team, as Anja delivered a talk on the project as part of the #WeMissiPRES program dedicated to showcasing ‘The Best of Digital Preservation in 2020’ in September 2020. The project team members also delivered a presentation and participated in an interview with the Digital Preservation Awards judges in early October.

The international panel of expert judges for the Digital Preservation Awards heralded the archive as a 'significant collaboration' demonstrating 'a lot of innovation as well as modelling and exemplifying best practice'. For the judges,

Atlantic Philanthropies is a watershed project, not just for the fully mature digital preservation tools and services which were deployed but for the fully mature digital preservation tools and services which are deployed. It shows that digital preservation is a viable proposition: and conversely, that data loss is a choice.

The winners of the Digital Preservation Awards were announced on World Digital Preservation Day on 5th November 2020 as part of The Digital Preservation Awards 2020, an online world-wide celebration of significant and state-of-the-art contributions to securing our digital legacy. The Amplifying Change project team was honoured to be recognised as part of this celebration of excellence in the field of digital preservation.

Watch a video about the collaborative efforts of the ‘Amplifying Change’ project team here.