NDSA:Content Case Studies

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Title of Activity or Project

Content Case Studies

One Sentence Description:

The Content Teams of the Content Working Group will develop case studies around a variety of types of content to share compelling stories that demonstrate the value of digital preservation in our communities.

Statement of the Problem and Goals for Addressing the Problem:

Content teams decide categories of content that are important in their groups at whatever granularity works best for the exercise (ie. Blogs of NGOs, legal blogs, citizen science, local newspaper websites, digital art, local government information).

Case studies will:

  • Establish the value of the content and provide the rationale for selecting it for preservation. What value does the content have? Is anyone collecting it? What factors affect its risk of disappearance?
  • Document recognized opportunities for preserving this content. Are there workflows in the creation or distribution of content that present opportunities for preservation?
  • Describe target audiences/stakeholders. Who would find value in this content and how might they be engaged in the process of preservation?
  • Outline a plan for educating stakeholders. How might NDSA or another organization raise the awareness of stakeholders including content creators, publishers, educators, libraries, researchers, or donors?
  • Describe potential obstacles or risk factors. What barriers for users/creators/preservationists might be faced and what options are there for overcoming them?
  • Develop actionable next steps. What can we do next, as a community or as individual institutions to ensure that important content is preserved?

Strategic Value of Activity:

  • Case studies focus digital preservation efforts on the content that is most valuable, so that material of historic or research importance is not lost
  • Case studies focus digital preservation efforts on the content that is most at risk, so that material in danger of disappearing for any reason is not lost
  • Case studies provide persuasive arguments for devoting scarce institutional resources to digital preservation activities
  • Case studies provide justification and background information for grant proposals and other fund raising efforts

Required Resources:

  • Time of working group members


Content Teams will meet separately to develop case studies, then share more broadly for feedback from other NDSA members in Content Working Group and NDSA-All. Approaches taken will be:

  1. Hold conference calls
  2. Draft case studies and review by Content Team members
  3. Invite broader member feedback
  4. Revise document
  5. Publish case studies

Dissemination of Knowledge:

  • Publish case studies on digitalpreservation.gov and/or other NDSA member websites
  • Write a blog post
  • Send announcements to listservs
  • Present at conferences that members are attending

Signifiers of Success and Outcomes:

Case studies from each Content Team will be developed and shared broadly with all stakeholders, from content producers to cultural heritage organizations. Additional activities for the Content Working Group will emerge from the case studies and dialog about them will bring more awareness to the issues surrounding the featured content types.