IIPC Chair Address

Hello there,

I would like to take an opportunity to say how excited I am to be the Chair of the IIPC Steering Committee for 2020 working with a great set of officers. I have had the opportunity to be involved with this organization since my first General Assembly in Canberra, Australia in 2008. The involvement of the University of North Texas Libraries in IIPC has been rewarding and something that has allowed us to grow and feel more secure in our web archiving program over the years.

IIPC funded projects

This year we are off to a quick start for IIPC. We have announced the first round of recipients for the Discretionary Funding Program (DFP) that resulted in several awarded projects. The Steering Committee is excited to see the results of these projects that will be completed during the 2020 calendar year. In addition to the round of DFP projects that have already been awarded, we will be announcing the next round of funding opportunities at this year’s General Assembly in Montreal.

IIPC GA & WAC in Montreal

The annual General Assembly and Web Archiving Conference has become an event that many of us eagerly look forward to each year. I know that I find it to be my most professionally engaging conference and enjoy both the mental stimulation and connecting with friends and colleagues from around the world. This year looks to be an exciting program for the Web Archiving Conference and we are working to schedule the General Assembly time to make the most of the day we have together for IIPC business. I am grateful to the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) and their organizing partners, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and University of Toronto Libraries. I expect that this year’s conference will be a memorable one for all of us.

Consortium Agreement renewal

As you know the IIPC is a consortium of institutions with a similar set of goals to preserve and provide access to the web around the world. This consortium is organized and governed by an agreement that each member signs when they join IIPC. The current document has served us well over the years but it is time for us to rework this agreement to reflect changes that have occurred in the structure of IIPC, as well as to enable us to continue to grow and evolve as an organization. There is a sub-committee of the Steering Committee that is working to revise the consortium agreement, and we are planning to share this with the membership for review at this year’s General Assembly.


One of the things that we will be incorporating into the new consortium agreement is the new relationship we have with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). As many of you will remember, we moved our financial oversite from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) in 2017 and have been exploring how this relationship can be beneficial to both organizations as time moves on. In the fall of 2019, the IIPC Steering Committee decided to further explore what opportunities exist for collaboration between CLIR and IIPC and we have started to incorporate existing tools such as CLIR’s MemberSuite that we are now using for our annual billing activities. In addition, we are in conversations to see how we can better cross-promote our activities and take advantage of resources that each of organizations bring to the table.

IIPC training materials

Another activity that I am happy to see being released is a set of training materials that have been developed to introduce the topic of web archiving to different audiences. This project was carried out as a collaboration between the IIPC Training Working Group and the Digital Preservation Coalition, who worked with us to help create the training modules. We are expecting to release this training material to the public shortly, so stay tuned.


There are many other activities of the IIPC that I could continue to enumerate here, including a project and contract to document the use of pywayback in large-scale web archive environments, which many of our member institutions operate. Another event that is happening in April is a Hackathon on Automated Quality Assurance that is being organized by the IIPC, University of North Texas Libraries, and the British Library, in collaboration with National Library of Australia and Library of Congress. This event will be both in-person at the British Library in London and at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. In addition to in-person participation, we encourage remote participation during the three-day event.

Collaborative collections

Collaborative collections led by our Content Development Working Group, have continued to be one of IIPC’s most successful outreach projects. The “Climate Change” collection has just been published on Archive-It and IIPC has teamed up with the Internet Archive to preserve web content related to the ongoing Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.


You can follow our activities on the IIPC website and Twitter. To subscribe to our mailing list, send an email to communications@iipc.simplelists.com.


Mark Phillips
Associate Dean for Digital Libraries at the University of North Texas (UNT)
IIPC Chair 2020-2021

CLIR’s Digital Library Federation Issues Call for Forum Proposals

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and its Digital Library Federation (DLF) invite proposals for the 2020 DLF Forum and related events, Learn@DLF and NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2020, to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, November 8–12. Submissions for this year’s Forum and Learn@DLF are geared toward a practitioner audience. Kathlin Smith, Director of Communications at CLIR, writes about DLF’s 25th anniversary, forthcoming events, CLIR’s programmes and publications. CLIR has been IIPC’s fiscal host since 2017.

By Kathlin Smith, Director of Communications at CLIR

Based in the Washington, DC, area, CLIR forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. CLIR has a number of international affiliates, including IIPC and NDSA. These affiliations give organizations opportunities to engage meaningfully with new constituencies, and to work together toward integrating services, tools, platforms, research, and expertise across organizations in ways that will reduce costs, create greater efficiencies, and better serve our collective constituencies.

25 years of DLF

The DLF was formed in 1995 by 12 academic libraries, the Library of Congress, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, and the New York Public Library. The idea was to leverage new individual digital library efforts to create the basis for a distributed open digital library, and CLIR provided a home for the new enterprise.

This year’s DLF Forum, held November 9–11 (#DLFforum), celebrates a milestone 25th anniversary. We welcome digital library, archives, and museum practitioners from around the world to share experiences and practices with one another and to exchange information among professional staff. Our program from 2019 can be found here. There will be a preconference workshop, Learn@DLF (#LearnAtDLF), on November 8, where attendees gain experience with new tools and resources and share expertise. We are eager to increase international participation; DLF membership is not required to submit a proposal.

In reflecting on DLF’s anniversary, it is instructive to read how its first director, Donald Waters, summed up the challenges of digital archiving in a groundbreaking report he co-authored with John Garrett: “If we are effectively to preserve for future generations the portion of this rapidly expanding corpus of information in digital form that represents our cultural record, we need to understand the costs of doing so, and we need to commit ourselves technically, legally, economically, and organizationally to the full dimensions of the task.”

Twenty-five years later, these challenges continue to animate the work of CLIR and DLF, and the need for international collaboration is greater than ever.

Get active with Digital Preservation

Immediately following the Forum on Nov. 11–12  is NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2020: Get Active with DP (#digipres20), for which the Call for Proposals has also just been issued. Open to members and non-members alike, this meeting highlights the theory and practice of digital stewardship and preservation, data curation, the digital object lifecycle, development of best practices, and more. CLIR currently serves as administrative host to the NDSA.

Concurrent with Digital Preservation 2020, CLIR will also hold a symposium on Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium (#digHC).

Publications, projects, and podcasts

We hope you will join us in Baltimore as a presenter or attendee. Meanwhile, we invite you to look at some recent activity from DLF, NDSA, and CLIR:

  • DLF’s Born Digital Access Working Group (one of 13 working groups active at DLF) just issued a report, Levels of Born-Digital Access
  • NDSA issued its Levels of Digital Preservation v2.0, and the original 2013 version has just been released in French (work is under way on a French version of v2.0).
  • NDSA has also released a series of web archiving surveys of US organizations engaged in web archiving or in the process of planning a web archive. The most recent survey was published in 2018.
  • This spring, CLIR will join project partners in announcing the launch of a new Digital Library of the Middle East platform for federating digitized Middle Eastern materials from institutions around the world. The platform will be scalable and extensible, for use by others.
  • CLIR Presidential Fellow and board member Carol Mandel is conducting a study of the societal and institutional framework that collects and preserves born-digital documentary evidence. Read the framing chapter of her research.
  • CLIR is preparing Season two of its podcast, Material Memory, which will focus on the “wicked problem” of ensuring that born-digital material remains accessible for future generations. The season will be released in late spring.

DLF Forum 2020