Conserving the past for the future - Data, Websites and Software


Speakers: Tim Gollins, Jeremy Leighton John & David Holdsworth
Date: 18th October 2012
Time: 14:30 following the AGM

Fellows Library of the Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD

About the seminar

Much effort has been devoted to restoring our old computers to working condition and replicas have been built of other computers. However without the software applications that were run on those machines how can museum visitors understand their function and how can future researchers evaluate their full impact? It promises to be a fascinating afternoon!

About the speakers

The meeting has three speakers addressing different aspects of the conservation and preservation of digital artefacts such as data, websites and the software needed to run them. They are -

Tim Gollins, Head of Digital Preservation at The National Archives.

Tim started his career in the UK civil service in 1987 in the field of Information Assurance. Since then he has worked on User Requirements, Systems Development, Systems Design, Information Management and Information Security on a number of large government IT projects. In 2000 Tim completed an MSc in Information Management from the University Of Sheffield specialising in Cross Language Information Retrieval. Between March 2004 and March 2008, Tim was responsible for the secure Information Management aspects of a large scale, cross-departmental, highly secure, IT and business change program at the UK Cabinet Office. Tim joined The National Archives in April 2008 to lead the delivery and procurement workstream of The Digital Continuity Project. As Head of Digital Preservation since Jan 2009, he leads work on digital preservation and cataloguing. Recently, Tim helped to design and develop the new Discovery System for users to find and access the records held at The National Archives. Tim is a Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition and a member of the University of Sheffield I-School's Advisory Panel.

Jeremy Leighton John, Curator of eMANUSCRIPTS at the British Library.

Dr Jeremy Leighton John has been Curator of eMANUSCRIPTS at the British Library since 2003, having been Specialist Scientific Curator from 2000. Previously he worked as a cataloguer of bioacoustic collections. Currently he belongs to the Digital Research and Curation Team in the Department of Digital Scholarship at the British Library. In 1996 Jeremy completed a DPhil in Zoology at Merton College, University of Oxford, concentrating on evolutionary and phylogenetic aspects. He is also a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and of the Royal Geographical Society. In recent years he has been working with hybrid (digital and analogue) collections of scientists; and having first learned to program at University College London, with FORTRAN using punched cards, he has been adapting technologies and procedures for forensically capturing, authenticating and making available the digital equivalent of analogue personal archives and manuscripts. Promoted the use of digital forensics at the British Library including a paper in Nature which highlighted the adoption of forensic techniques: The future of saving our past. Principal Investigator of the Digital Lives Research Project funded by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council. Project Lead for the Personal Digital Manuscripts Project at the British Library. Currently a member of the Committee of the Section for Archives and Technology of the Archives and Records Association of UK & Ireland. Previously a member of the Library Committee of the Royal Society.

David Holdsworth, CCS and formerly of Leeds University.

David is well known to CCS members and has specialised in retrieving software and restoring it to working condition.

He has also kindly uploaded his slides for the lecture here and added a few post-lecture comments here.

Click to see a podcast of the event