October 8, 2015

Contact: Zach Vowell 

Cal Poly Kennedy Library Receives Grant to Plan Software Preservation Network

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Zach Vowell, digital archivist at Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library, and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin have been awarded a grant to create the Software Preservation Network.

The nearly $100,000 Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant will fund a one-year project that has the potential to impact the continued relevance of digital objects created by students, faculty and other creators of digital culture across the nation. Such cultural objects include three-dimensional architectural models, presentation slide decks, and publishing and design project files.

The project will culminate in a national forum on software preservation best practices to support cultural heritage organizations. The forum, to take place over two days during late summer 2016, will bring together potential network participants to generate community participation and build consensus around a roadmap for organizational implementation.

“We are thrilled to be chosen by IMLS to take on this work,” Vowell said. “Fifty years from now, we want to be sure that people can read and view what was created digitally. It would be a shame to have digital files in archives, museums and libraries, but no software to open them.”

The Software Preservation Network project grant was one of nine awarded as part of IMLS’ national digital platform priority.According to the IMLS, “Each of these projects contributes to enhancing the combination of software applications, social and technical infrastructure, and staff expertise that provide library content and services to users across the U.S.”

The IMLS received 155 applications seeking more than $62.5 million in the 2015-16 National Leadership Grant Program. Of those, 15 projects received funding totaling almost $5 million.

Progress on the Software Preservation Network project will be posted on Twitter at @SoftPresNetwork.


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