ATG Book of the Week: Digital Curation Fundamentals

by | Mar 2, 2019 | 0 comments

Title: Digital Curation Fundamentals
Author: Jody L. DeRidder
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1538111215, $85; Paperback: 978-1538106785, $40
Imprint: Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018


“Websites and digital news stories disappear daily; researchers can’t access their own data for reuse; students don’t know how to make their work last for the next 10 years. Knowledge is built on previously gathered information, but what happens when that information is no longer accessible? And where does the librarian or archivist fit into this picture? This book describes the basic steps of data curation, in clear easy-to-follow language, and clarifies the many potential roles that a librarian or archivist can play to help make our information future viable for generations to come.

Digital Curation Fundamentals is for anyone who wants to help save knowledge for future use, but knows little-to-nothing about digital curation or how it fits with their jobs. This book is also for administrators who need to stay on top of things but don’t yet have a good grasp on the purpose and scope of digital curation and how central it is to the future. Additionally, this book is a reference handbook for those who are involved in digital curation in some form but who need the context to know how their work fits into the big picture, and what comes next. This book takes a straight-forward, commonsense approach to a complex problem, and portrays the challenges and opportunities in an approachable conversational style which lowers the bar to include those with little to no technical expertise.”



The importance of curating data is not obvious to everyone, though in this era of “fake news” its significance should likely be much more evident. Most people assume that what they want to find will be “on the internet,” though questions of how to provide for the authenticity and provenance of the data there are problematic. DeRidder was for nine years the head of metadata and digital services at the University of Alabama; she is currently the director of metadata frameworks in the Metadata Strategy and Operations Division of OCLC. Her purpose in creating this work was to provide a context for librarians, archivists, administrators, and other library personnel who know little about digital curation but need to grasp the concept and how central it is to librarianship. DeRidder walks us through the various models of digital curation; the pros and cons of emulation, migration, and encapsulation; the identification and selection of content; and the preservation, access, storage, protection, and monitoring of the data. While not avoiding the complexities facing digital projects, the information is presented in a commonsense, well-structured way. This work is essential reading for all librarians and those interested in the future of shared online data.

Summing Up: Essential. Graduate students, researchers, and professionals. (CHOICE)


Digital Curation Fundamentals is an excellent “quick start” guide that presents a solid overview of the issues surrounding the preservation of digital content. Highly recommended for anyone that needs to get up to speed quickly and for those who need a broader context for the decisions they make that impact the preservation of digital content.
(Mary Molinaro, Executive Director, Digital Preservation Network)

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