Shortly after its establishment in 1970, researchers at Xerox Parc invented the personal computer, complete with graphical user interface, windows, icons and a mouse. Yet, Xerox completely failed to successfully market and sell the personal computer and is still today known for making photocopiers and mainframes. In 1975, an employee at Kodak built the first digital camera. In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy, having had its photographic film business disrupted by competitors invested heavily in promoting the “new” technology of digital photography. So why do large organizations (including academic institutions) fail to evolve with the times? And what is your strategy for supporting evolution and innovation in your organization? How do you adapt to and benefit from change and new ideas?
In 2018, Athenaeum21 was commissioned to conduct an environmental scan of how and why digital strategies in a range of organizations succeed, and also why they “fail.”
In November of 2018, Athenaeum21 (A21) began working with the New York University Division of Libraries (DoL) to align the organization to its stated mission and values, and to uncover its longer-term aspirations. Continuing through April of 2019, the work focused on organizational discovery and alignment as well as identifying and designing shared criteria for prioritization of work. The work was intended to deepen the conversation among the DoL staff about setting and meeting their strategic goals within the context of foreseeable trends in education and research libraries. Both the activities and outcomes of this work are intended to inform the thoughtful design of administrative structures, decision-making criteria, and a communications plan that will empower staff to respond confidently to oncoming trends, challenges, and opportunities.
Client: Oxford University IT Services & Humanities Division
Project Phase 1: Functional Requirements for a Sustainable Digital Humanities Infrastructure (2018)
In 2018, Athenaeum21 carried out an in-depth analysis of the functional requirements of Digital Humanities (DH) projects at the University of Oxford, including extensive interviews with DH project leads, followed by technical and functional analysis for more than 30 DH projects. Our charge, from the university’s IT department and Division of Humanities, was to help the University to design and more sustainable infrastructure for the DH projects. Our research uncovered a more robust and detailed picture of how both active and retired DH projects differ from the most common research data management and preservation models, and of their unique technical sustainability and preservation issues. In response to these diverse needs, we propose a layered service model for creating a sustainable digital hu...
On Friday, December 7, from 9:45-11:00 AM, Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Deputy Executive Director Sue Baughman and Athenaeum21 co-founders Megan Hurst and Christine Madsen will present an update on ARL's Research Library Impact Framework, one result of the 2017 ARL Assessment Program Visioning Task Force's work. Not attending the conference? You can still follow the trending topics being addressed via the conference Twitter hashtag at #LAC18 on December 10 and 11.
Many universities are facing difficult choices about how to sustain, preserve, and/or archive their (often) hundreds of digital humanities (DH) projects that have reached the conclusion of their funding or support. In 2018, Athenaeum21 carried out an in-depth analysis of the functional requirements of DH projects at the University of Oxford. This included extensive interviews with DH project leads, followed by technical and functional analysis for more than 30 DH projects.
Our research has uncovered a more robust and detailed picture of how both active and retired DH projects differ from the most common research data management and preservation models, and of their unique technical sustainability and preservation issues. In response to these diverse needs, we propose a layered service model for creating a sustainable digital humanities technology infrastructure. Breaking down the functional requirements into “layers” acknowledges the differing life cyc...
Athenaeum21 is pleased to announce the publication of the book Digital Preservation: Preparing for a Sustainable Future. Athenaeum21 co-founders, Christine Madsen and Megan Hurst, authored the book’s chapter “Digital Preservation Policy And Strategy: Where Do I Start?” The chapter is based on the authors’ extensive experience leading digital preservation projects in multiple contexts, and their intimate understanding of the obstacles and pitfalls that confront all organizations trying to successfully establish digital records management, digital archive, and digital preservation initiatives.
Digital preservation policies should be designed in such a way that they will actually be used and referred to.
“As organizations of all types increasingly create, collect, and disseminate collections of digital data and information, preservation policies and strategies are more important than ever. While information and data preservation have historically been, and...