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Maurizio Vivarelli, Maria Cassella Federico Valacchi Framing the digital curator curriculum - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The digital curator between continuity and change: developing a training course at the University of Turin. Maurizio Vivarelli, Maria Cassella Federico Valacchi Framing the digital curator curriculum Florence, 6-7 May 2013. Cultural heritage in digital age.

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Maurizio Vivarelli, Maria Cassella Federico Valacchi Framing the digital curator curriculum

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The digital curator between continuity and change: developing a training course at the University of Turin

Maurizio Vivarelli, Maria Cassella

Federico Valacchi

Framing the digital curator curriculum

Florence, 6-7 May 2013

Cultural heritage in digital age

  • Meeting point of intersection between technology and disciplinary traditions

  • Added cultural value by linking disparate digital datasets

  • Appraises data and data sets for enduring value in the context of archives and cultural heritage

  • Explores the creation of new relationships and knowledge by adding social value to the cultural digital object

  • Different disciplines = different techniques

    • FIDO

Information professionals in digital age

  • New roles evolving in libraries, archives, and museums

    • See: JobList of American Library Association

    • Issue of recongnition of these new roles

  • Higher complexity = more inter-disciplinary and group work necessary

  • Subject-domain knowledge is the prerequisite to successfully perform digital curation

The information professionals evolving scenario in Italy

Growing need to explore the convergence among information professionals

2010: in Piedmont ANAI, ICOM, and AIB founded MAB (Musei, Archivi, Biblioteche) a political regional coordination of the 3 associations representing archivists, museum specialists and librarians in Italy

2011: the MAB became a permanent national coordination

  • Goal:

    • to promote discussions on topics interesting the three professional associations

    • to foster interoperability at political level and common strategies for the future of information professionals in Italy

      Identity issues

MAB screenshot

Digital Curation: the emergence of a new discipline

  • The term “Digital Curation” was first used at the "Digital Curation: digital archives, libraries and e-science” seminar on the 19th October 2001

  • Initially digital preservation is seen as the strategic aspect in digital curation

  • Later on the term “has been used to refer to the maintenance of big research data and other digital materials over their entire life-cycle and over time for current and future generations of users” (Beagrie, 2006):

    • from the creation to the preservation and storage till the idea of re-use of digital assets and research data;

    • currently the concept of digital curation also includes the idea of added value to the management of digital materials

The DCC Curation Lifecycle Model

  • DCC Curation Lifecycle Model provides a graphical, high-level overview of the stages required for successful digital curation:

  • Lifecycle actions:

    • Description and representation

    • Preservation planning

    • Community watch and participation

    • Curate and preserve

Digital curation and digital preservation in Italy

  • Scarce attention to the issues of digital curation and digital preservation

    • Magazzini digitali launched in 2006

    • Coordinated by the National Library of Florence, supported by the Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale

    • Linked to the digital legal deposit (L. 106/2004)

    • Necessity to raise awareness on digital curation both at national and institutional level

The challenge of training digital curators in Italy

  • Academic curricula scenario is unclear and fragmented

    • After the introduction of the law 240/2010 closure of most degree courses devoted to LIS and Archival science

    • Majority of remaining courses relegate Archival science and LIS to the Humanities

    • A few masters concentrate on the digital themes (Macerata/Padova, Parma)

    • No first level graduate course is specifically available for digital curators

University of Turin and Digitization Projects

  • University of Turin: 60,000 FTE

  • 6 schools

  • 27 Departments

  • 2012: the University Library System launches DigitUnito, a web platform to give access to the digital cultural objects of the University of Turin

    • DigitUnito is powered by the Open Source software Omeka, developed by the George Mason University

    • It is a multifunction platform: gives access to library and archive digital materials


Developing a training course for digital curators at the University of Turin

  • Need to train digital curators to support digitization projects of University Libraries

    • Course aim is to train information professionals at executive level

    • More flexible than a master

  • Need to keep low fees and to respond to rapid developments in practice and standards for digital libraries

    The decision to launch the training course is also consistent with the expectation that according to the United States “Occupational Outlook Handbook”, 2010-11 Edition, digital curation will increase by 23% between 2008 and 2018

The course curriculum

  • 600 hours = teaching and personal work

    • 6 modules: 1. The document in transition from analog to digital 2. The cultural heritage and the digital perspective 3. Metadata, standards and tools for digitization projects 4. Communication in digital age 5. Preservation in digital age 5.1 Access and licensing rights 6. Case studies and best practices

    • 2 laboratories: provide hands-on experience

    • 5 internships in university and non university libraries and at the State Archive of Turin

  • From October 2014 to May 2015 (roughtly two semesters)

    • Skills to develop: communicative, group work, legal, digital preservation policies and standards for digital repositories (the OAIS reference model)

    • Competencies to strenghen: subject-domain

    • Project management and staffing skills are not included at this level

Final considerations

  • Digital curation is a staff performed activity

    • To successfully manage DigitUnito we collaboratively work with IT and UniTo Portal Division

  • Information professionals are in the best position to become excellent digital curator. However:

    • It is necessary to ensure that “Library “leaders-in-waiting” are given the appropriate leadership training to equip them to operate in this data centric world” (Lyon, 2012)

    • The understanding of the complex nature of the relationships that connect documents to the context is to be considered an essential condition so that information professionals can realize the deep meaning of working in a digital environment

Final considerations

  • Digital curators have to learn “to respect both the physical and the digital, to manage, value and preserve a wide variety of formats, to identify connections, to evaluate and select systems that suit the needs of their institution best, to appreciate and create relationships among materials, and to imagine and implement the merging of contexts and the provision of access” (Harvey, Bastian, 2011)

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