World Digital Preservation Day

World Digital Preservation Day will be celebrated on November 7th of this year. 

Generally speaking, Digitization involves the process of taking something from analog form (paper-based) to digital form. More specifically, in relation to information resources, digitization involves creating digital text by converting handwritten or typewritten text. Digital Preservation refers to the preserving of paper-based documents by converting them into digital form. Digital preservation is largely utilized within archives, where rare documents and manuscripts often need to be digitally copied before they disintegrate or break down to a point where they can no longer be read or studied, however, digital preservation is also used in numerous other areas where resources need to be more accessible, such as medical records, legal documents, business policies, or news-related materials. Digitization can relate to things both big and small — either companies digitizing their efforts, or family members converting their old slides or photos to digital form.

Digital Preservation is an industry that is often overlooked. But in a world where digital resources are beginning to take precedence over physical materials, the need for digitization grows. More and more resources today are available only in digital forms. Some news sources move to broadcast solely online, rather than in print; some authors publish only e-books, rather than insisting on printing physical copies; many products now provide instruction manuals only online, leaving out a disk or other mode of installation. So, if digitization is such a vital aspect of today’s world, why do we not place greater importance on the digital preservation industry? Some think the answer to this question is simple: awareness. While consumers interact with digital resources every day, they may not think about the work it takes for something to be digitized. In response to this, World Digital Preservation Day (WDPD) was created so that credit could be paid to digital preservationists, and awareness could be drawn to how the processes of digital preservation vary around the world. 

World Digital Preservation Day is held every year on the first Thursday of November in hopes to bring awareness to digitization and celebrate the progress digital preservers have made over the years. On their website, the Digital Preservation Coalition boasts the diversity and need of preservation in numerous sectors including industry, commerce, government, research, law, medicine, and media, to name a few. In 2018, World Digital Preservation Day culminated in the Digital Preservation Awards ceremony in Amsterdam. This event was hosted by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network and the Amsterdam Museum as part of an international conference for WDPD.

To see more about how World Digital Preservation Day was celebrated in 2018, you can visit the Coalition blog to read stories of digital preservation, “see what a digital preservation day looks like” on Instagram, and watch videos on YouTube YouTube on how digital preservationists around the world celebrate WDPD. 

To check out past events happening around the world for WDPD, visit

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