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