The Digital Preservation Awards celebrate the excellence and innovation that will help to secure our digital legacy.  

They were created in 2004 to raise awareness about digital preservation, providing a rare opportunity to engage in some high-profile advocacy, articulating nuanced messages about how and why one might engage in digital preservation. They enable the DPC to endorse and celebrate outstanding work which may go unrecognized by other communities and which may be little known among the senior managers of the agencies undertaking this work.

In its early iterations (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010) the DPC sponsored a single award under the auspices of the Conservation Awards. In 2012, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Coalition, the DPC organized the Digital Preservation Awards under its own mandate, offering 3 awards – an award for teaching and communications, an award for research and innovation, and a special tenth anniversary award for outstanding contribution to digital preservation. In 2014 a further 2 awards were offered and in 2016 the DPC Fellowship was offered for the first time.

In 2018 the DPC again offers awards in 5 categories, alongside a sixth - ‘Fellowship’ Award:

  • The Award for Research and Innovation which recognizes excellence in practical research and innovation activities since the last prize round (i.e. completed between August 2016 and July 2018). The prize in this category comprises a trophy to be retained by the recipient, certificates for participating individuals, and a cash prize of £1000 payable to the lead nominee’s institution.
  • The Award for Teaching and Communications, recognizing excellence in outreach, training and advocacy since the last prize round (completed between August 2016 and July 2018). The prize in this category comprises a trophy to be retained by the recipient, certificates for participating individuals, and a cash prize of £1000 payable to the lead nominee’s institution.
  • The Award for the Most Distinguished Student Work in Digital Preservation, encouraging and recognizing student work in digital preservation completed in the period August 2016 to July 2018. The prize in this category comprises a trophy to be retained by the recipient’s institution, certificates for participating individuals, and a travel grant covering the costs of attendance at an international conference in 2019.
  • The Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy, which celebrates the practical application of preservation tools to protect at-risk digital objects (completed in the period August 2016 to July 2018). The prize in this category comprises a trophy to be retained by the recipient, certificates for participating individuals, and a cash prize of £1000 payable to the lead nominee’s institution.
  • The Award for the Most Outstanding Digital Preservation Initiative in Commerce, Industry and the Third Sector encouraging and recognizing the adoption of digital preservation tools and approaches in an organization that is not explicitly a memory institution, completed between August 2016 and July 2018. The prize in this category comprises a trophy to be retained by the recipient, certificates for participating individuals, and a cash prize of £1000 payable to the lead nominee’s organization or company.

In addition, winners and finalists will receive a print quality logo for reproduction on websites or stationery. All applicants will receive practical commentary on their nomination including comments from the ‘public vote’. Informal feedback suggests that this feedback has been widely re-used by applicants in grant applications and curricula vitae.

The ceremony for the Digital Preservation Awards will take place in Amsterdam on the evening of World Digital Preservation Day, Thursday 29th November 2018.


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